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Friday, April 27, 2007

Scene stealers

Dressed in Little Lord Fauntleroy outfits, the pages stole the show at the April 21 Holiday in Dixie Cotillion.

We captured three of the them the next night at the Royal Reception at Club Newport at Shreveport Country Club. They are Robert H. Autenreith Jr. (left), Bradley S. Potts and Jacob W. Gerhardt. James M. Elliott was the fourth.

The heralds are always enchanting and this year were darling in white with little tiaras in their hair. They were Caroline G. Alford, Karin A. Barro, Mary Katherine Easterwood and Sarah E. Tamplin.

The Royal Reception honored HID Queen Mary Katherine Bicknell, Prince Robert Poindexter and Princess Catherine Sale.

Cotillion King? Attorney Mike Adams.

Paul L. Schuetze/The Times

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A royal banquet

Well, I spent the weekend making a round of galas, all starting Friday night at the Municipal Auditorium for the Holiday in Dixie Cotillion — presided over by King Mike Adams and Queen Mary Katherine Bicknell. It was followed Saturday by the Royal Reception at Club Newport in honor of Bicknell, Prince Robert Poindexter and Princess Catherine Sale at Shreveport Country Club. On Sunday, it was Horseshoe Casino & Hotel Riverdome for the Christus Schumpert Children’s Classic Gala Banquet & Auction. I had to regret the 2nd Medical Group 2007 Provider Reception at Barksdale Air Force Base, but more about that later.

At the Cotillion Royal Banquet, Robert Poindexter — dear old dad of Prince Robert — Kevin Briley and Andy Querbes strike a post for husband Paul L. Schuetze’s camera. (They were there with respective wives Kim Poindexter, Marjorie Briley and Mary Frances Querbes.)

Officials opened up one side of the tent adjacent to the Municipal Auditorium — where the Cotillion was held — and placed food and a bar out there, so it was like a grand lawn party. And the weather, exquisite, so people stayed on and on into the morning.

Upper Crust of Haynesville prepared the royal feast: savory shrimp presented on ice; steamship round of beef, carved; fillets of catfish, garnished; Pasta Newport with grilled chicken; Crepes Fitzgerald and Bananas Foster.

I love the way floral designer Kendall Bailey melds ordinary flowers along with more exotic ones. For the Cotillion and Royal Banquet he included mock orange, privet and ligustrum from his yard, as well as calla lilies, maidenhair fern, orchids and Ice Princess lilies. (There was even a ligustrum topiary.)

Want to hide a pot? Just swath it in elegant damask. Everyone will ooh and aah, I assure you.

Theme for the event: "A Royal Newport Cotillion In America’s Gilded Age."

More Cotillion notes: Pals Linda Biernacki and Donna Poimboeuf slipped in alone for hubbies Richard Biernacki and Cliff Poimboeuf were sharing an Indian Princess evening with their daughters ... Attorney Bill Hall, hubby of Cotillion chief Debbie Hall, shot photos from his bird’s-eye view seat in the Orchestra Circle ... Nephi Sanchez of the Shreveport Opera rendered a spellbinding song as the Cotillion presentation ended ... "Deepest Bow" honors go to Cotillion Lady Amanda Kemper Thomas ... Andy DuPont and Katie Dupont waltzed marvelously across the Cotillion floor as part of the presentation. (Chairwoman Hall would have loved to have had the floor completely filled with professional waltzers, but couldn’t quite manage that!)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A bow to you, Mike Adams

Not only is 2007 Holiday in Dixie Cotillion King Mike Adams a dapper dresser, but he is famous for his bow ties.

Soooo....it was easy for the past kings to come up with a way to greet him April 20 at the Cotillion at Municipal Auditorium.

Wear bow ties.

But not just any bow.

Oh, no. These were polka dotted and oversized, stretching almost from shoulder to shoulder. As he turned the corner on the floor and spotted them, he turned on the Adams grin.

And turned the tables on his fellow kings.

Holding a gold toasting cup or chalice as a pretense to toasting, he tossed it up, out and over the courtly crew. They were doused with glittery confetti.

It was the latest in courtly greetings to the new royal.

J. Pat Beaird is in charge of it all. A line up of past kings: Dr. Dick Drummond (down the front row, starting far left), John Nelson, Claude Rives, Dr. Lacy Williams, Shelby Smith and Steve Walker.

Newsy royal note: Rives is building a house in Oxford, Miss., because he loves the town and the Ole Miss doin’s so much. So he’ll be in and out of there as well as home sweet home Shreveport.

Friday, April 20, 2007

They're off


"Start the engines!"The words are intoxicating when you are in the stands at the Texas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR races.

At the words, the cars are off, lines of brightly colored cars take off down the speedway. It is our favorite part of the race. Watching speed come to life.

Interesting, too, to know that names you’ve read about, like Jeff Gordon and Dale Ernhardt Jr., are wielding the steering wheels in those cars.

(We were once given nine laps around the speedway during a friend’s driving lesson. I’ll tell you, it is exhilerating to be going 150 mph and riding the bank. And a great gift for anyone.)

It was cold and blustery Saturday for the Busch Series O’Reilly 300, but hot as hades the next day for Nextel Cup Samsung 500.

Husband Paul Schuetze and I and Clayton and Angela were guests of Russ Friedrich and Dr. Marsha Friedrich who take their motor home to Fort Worth three times a year.

That is Angela and Marsha at the Brookshires Campground Store on the speedway grounds. It is a full service store.

This is our second go at the speedway and we are becoming quite the NASCAR fans.

Hamburger helper

Chef Russ Friedrich prepares hamburgers at Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, prior to one of the Busch Series O’Reilly 300 NASCAR races last weekend. It is a scene repeated throughout the motor home compound on NASCAR weekends. With flags flying, steaks cooking, beer flowing, it is a colorful place to be.

Friedrich and wife Dr. Marsha Friedrich take their motor home for the three weekends each year and ask friends to share the experience with them. This is our second trip — hubby Paul Schuetze and me — with them and we’ve turned into the biggest fans! Clayton and Angela Brakeville joined us this year. There is a place for motor homes, but also a campground for primitive campers.

There is even a Brookshire’s Campground Store with everything you need and souvenirs.

By the way, Friedrich’s name is on the Speedway’s "Hall of Fame" for he was among the first to buy season tickets the first year they were available!

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Interview


One last word on Grambling Coach Eddie Robinson, taken from a May 1977 interview with him and the legendary Grambling University President Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones.

An interview that Robinson helped me get. You see, Jones was retiring after 51 years at the school he also served as baseball coach.

He was glum because we also wanted to discuss an investigation at the school and he didn’t want to talk about it.

Robinson knew what to do.

He reminisced with Jones.

They discussed Grambling players and at least one that Robinson let get away.

And plays.

Some quotes by Robinson from the written story:

 "I seldom lose too many. I thought we had gotten him, but he never made it here. We let him get away to Illinois." On Bobby Mitchell of Little Rock, Ark., who was also all-Big Ten and All-Prol and a star for the Cleveland Browns and Washington Red Skins.

 "They are all embarrassing when you get whipped." On the most embarrassing moment in his career. At that time, he had won 800 games and lost 200.

 "I tried to prevent him from being a lineman." On football great Paul "Tank" Younger, the first player from a small black college to be drafted into the pro ranks.

 "That was one of the finest experiences I’ve had." On why he cried on board the plane going home from the Rose Bowl the first time. (He remembered listening to Rose Bowl games as a child at the grocery store because his family couldn’t afford a radio.)

 "I do everything around the house that is done when they can catch me!" On doing chores at home.

And, they discussed the era of segregation when Robinson carried sandwiches for the players to eat because they couldn’t dine in white restaurants. And where it was difficult to even find establishments that would allow blacks to use restrooms as they traveled via bus across the South.

At times, Robinson would get up, walk around the room and pantomime a pass, almost interrupting himself with laughter and slapping his knee for a finish.

It was an interview to remember.

And, may I sum up Robinson in a word? Gracious.

Do you have any non-sports Eddie Robinson stories to share. I’d love to hear them.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Country outing

The roses are in full bloom in the Greenwood garden of Mike and Mary Wark, who pose beside a bush filled with blossoms.

On a quiet Good Friday, they asked husband Paul L. Schuetze and me to stop by for dinner and see their roses in full bloom.

(And enjoy an always delicious supper by Mary. We supplied the Fairfield Grocery chicken salad, but she made a green salad and put out her home-made pickles, hors d’eouvres and apple cobbler. Paul and I were in heaven.)

For those of you who saw the garden when it was on Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners Le Tour des Jardins a few years back, it is enduring and endearing.

One recent addition: a water element that centers the path.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A walk in the garden

Saturday is sacred with husband Paul L. Schuetze and me.

We eat griddle cakes and sip fresh squeezed orange juice, both prepared by Paul, and dig into a mean grits casserole that I put together.

But, after much of the coffee is downed and the papers read, we throw on our hats, and with a final mug of coffee in our hands, head, not for the hills, but for our own seven acres.

To see what is blooming. What is growing. Each Saturday morning, there is something new.

I’ll keep you posted from time-to-time on what is going on.

Occasionally, Paul will surprise me with a project he has started. (One Saturday, it was a "tree house." Well, we call it that. He placed one of those portable pavilions on the edge of the glen that goes straight down into the woods, put lights and a fan in it. It is a peaceful and restful spot and protected in the summer from mosquitoes.)

On Saturday, our yard and garden was in full bloom. (Nothing fancy about our garden and, I must tell, you I simply do not know the names of all the plants. I just love them.)

The lawn is long and stretches back to the house. We allow the front part to go "wild" until all the natives have bloomed. (Something very disconcerting to the neighbors!)

This year, the pretty purple flowes with trumpet-like blossoms spouting from a stalk fill the front part as far as the eye can see.

Another thing we saw on Saturday that just thrilled me:

The pink phlox. A native that my neighbor, the late Vi Robbins, passed along to me. (There are some blooming in the yard she once tended, too.)

I planted two or three plants probably 10 to 15 years ago and look at it now! And still spreading, branching out, since I make no attempt to corral them.
Paul L. Schuetze/The Times

Mock orange

A bountiful plummage of white blossoms on a mock orange. I have several. One I got from my mother’s yard and one from Vi Robbins. No, we never prune them. But, then, we don’t prune anything. They just go wild.
Paul L. Schuetze/The Times


Our native honeysuckle has been especially pretty this spring. It grows in two places: On a post in full sun and in a more shady spot. It is also from the garden of the late Beryl McDermott. (Now, she was a gardener. She could grow anything, using old fashion methods, no fertilizer and no sprinkler system. If she watered at all, it was by hand!)
Paul L. Schuetze/The Times

Chinese ground orchid

This passalong Chinese ground orchid from the garden of the late Beryl McDermott looks exactly like one of the very large, formal orchids. It grows in the shade, blossom is about the size of a quarter and you do not see them often. They are in full blooms in several spaces right now.
Paul L. Schuetze/The Times

Friday, April 06, 2007

Wild game dinner

I love fish dishes, but wild game is not high on my list of great food.

However I think the Wild Game Dinner given annually by Steve and Berry Glassell and Danny and Karen Logan is very slick. And Jeems Bayou Hunting & Fishing Club on Caddo Lake — a true throw back to yesterday — is so wonderfully Southern.

I wouldn’t miss it for almost anything. (Though, occasionally I do have to.)

And, wild game or not, we feasted ravenously on Craig Storer’s venison summer sausage. He is pictured arriving with wife Judy Storer who annually grows a great bed of lettuce in her Belcher garden.

The hosts asks guests to contribute their fave wild game or fish dish, side dish, salad or dessert. And there is plenty of wine to sip. (We contributed a salad and must admit that the ingredients came from Maxwell’s, but I tossed it all together.)

A sampling of high profilers and their dishes:

- Larry and Anne Higdon, Crawfish etouffee.

- Charles and Sheila Coyle, Old fashion pound cake, the kind mom used to make.

- Dr. Bill and Judy McColgan, Speckled belly goose gumbo. (Everyone was mentioning the new house they are building in the Dixie area.)

- The Rev. Bryan and Jennifer McDowell. Jennifer’s fab brownies.

- Dr. Rocky and Kristy Rockefeller. Rocky’s catfish supreme.

- Bubba Kneipp. Sausage jambalaya.

- Larry Theriot. Deer chili.

- Sonny Kirby. Boiled shrimp.

Soooo. You get the idea.

Do you have a favorite game dish? Please tell us about it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

More on strangers

Old friend Larry V. Landry shared a "kindness of stranger" with me via e-mail.

He, too, lost his cell phone, just as I did. And, just as mine was, his was rescued by a kind stranger.

Landry apparently dropped his on a parking lot after a grandchild’s soccer game.

In a letter to the stranger who found and returned it, Landry thanked him for tracking down the owner by checking his phone list and name.

"There are not many people today who would take that kind of care. In fact, there are many more who would have used the phone as much as possible until I had it turned off," he wrote.

"To be honest, the phone only cost me $1 to replace. But can you imagine the time I would have to have spent putting in all of those names and numbers," he added.

Does anyone else have a "kindness of strangers" to share?

Farewell, Kenneth Paul

The disenfranchised and those who never have to worry about much of anything gathered Sunday at the Undercroft of Church of the Holy Cross Episcopal Church.

The church is where many go to church. This time, though, they stopped by to say farewell to church pastor, the Rev. Kenneth Paul, who is retiring after almost 40 years serving the gem of a downtown church. It provides a spot of beauty as well as spiritual leadership in a blighted area.

The farewell reception was Sunday right after church.

Paul preaches his last sermon as church rector Sunday. Though he will still be around for he was named Rector Emeritus and will be an advisor for the Holy Cross Endowment for Community Service.

During his years of ministry here, he served the needy, homeless and those voices not often heard, said Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover, in a proclamation honoring Paul and read by church member Shreveport City Councilman Monty Walford.

The church is a home to everyone, said member Cara Derrick. "It is home to black, white, gay, straight ... everyone is welcome," she added.

And, Paul. "He is committed to social justice. He is truly committed to social activism," said Derrick.

"This is a community of acceptance of all who come in the door," said Edward Cloyd.

Paul stories are legend, but he told one on himself. A couple of street people wanted to marry.

He agreed to perform the ceremony. And called upon the late Bobbie Thompson, the then owner of the Corner Lounge — just down the street — to help. She acquired a wedding dress for the bride and hosted the reception in the Undercroft.

I, too, wish Kenneth well. I was a young reporter right out of college covering religion some 40 years ago, when I met him and wrote a story on him and his ministry.