Showing posts with label Thibodaux LA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thibodaux LA. Show all posts

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Oooh, my back!  (I have spinal stenosis.)

Through a heroic effort, I made it into the meeting and found a front row seat. Bill Cassidy arrived on time, and talked and talked, yada, yada, yada, running out the time of a one hour meeting. Here are my notes as I wrote them as I sat and listened.

President O'Trump (He really said that) will spend 1 trillion on infrastructure
Trump will bring back energy jobs
Trump will bring back manufacturing jobs
The Dakota pipeline is good and will create many jobs in the US
He's talking too much. Get to the questions
Cassidy talks too damned much
Running out the clock, blah, blah, blah

I sat patiently for a good while and was tired of wasting my time, so I started waving my hand. Cassidy paid no attention, so I shouted out, "Senator, you're talking too much. Listen to the people. Also, I have a question."

He didn't get to me, and people were pointing to me and telling him to answer my question. He finally turned to me, and I asked:

"Will you guarantee that your health care plan or whatever Republican health care plan you sign will cover everyone who is covered by Obamacare?   You are a doctor, and you took an oath to do no harm."

He answered something like nearly everyone. I said, "That's no guarantee."

Then he said, "What if people don't want coverage?"

I said, "That's not what I mean, and you know it."

Cassidy never got to the written questions that were handed in, so I'm glad I shouted out and didn't wait. He left promptly after an hour with a number of people still waiting to ask questions.

Among the few questions and comments that time permitted, one man spoke of how Medicaid expansion helps hospitals that had to take losses in the emergency room before the program was implemented.

In answer to a question that I could not hear, Cassidy said, among other things, that Jeff Sessions is an honorable man.  [Edit:] The question was from a woman wanted to know if Trump was Putin's puppet.  Jeff Sessions served on a Trump campaign committee, and, as Attorney General, prosecutors will be reporting to him during the inquiries looking into contacts between the campaign and Russia. Honorable or not, many think Sessions should recuse himself from inquiries into the campaign in which he had a role.

Another asked about an independent investigation of Trump's Russian connections. Cassidy said he's very concerned about Russia, but he did not state he would support an independent, bipartisan investigation.

Then, a woman asked about Trump's appointment of Pruitt as administrator of the EPA, who is on record as wanting to destroy the EPA. Cassidy said the EPA will not be destroyed.

The crowd was not a rowdy bunch, but they were clearly annoyed by Cassidy hogging the time to speak.  I'm not good at crowd counting, but I'd guess there were a couple of hundred people sitting and standing. The people at the meeting appeared to be local people or from places nearby, and they asked intelligent and thoughtful questions. I doubt anyone in the crowd was bused in.

I was briefly interviewed by the local paper, the Comet Courier, Fox 8, the New Orleans local station, and The Nation magazine.

Update: Here's the link to my minute of fame with Bill Cassidy from Fox 8 news in New Orleans.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Rienzi Manor subdivision - $80,000

Corner lot - Irregular shape

Front semi-circle - 62 ft
South line - 115 ft
West line - 115 ft
North line - 154 ft
East line - 154 ft

For further information, call agent at (985) 665-9371.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


St John - 1917

Nearly 100 years passed between the two photos.  The words over the arch are "The Lord Is in His Holy Temple".  The plaque holding the hymn numbers situated on the arch seems to be the same, painted white from black or a dark color, and moved to the left on the wall. Our best guess is the old picture shows a reed organ on the left in the front of the church.   

St John - 2014

When the Victorian decorations around the archway and windows were painted over, I can't say, but by 1969, when we moved to Thibodaux, the decorations were gone.  And all to the good, in my opinion, in our beautiful Greek Revival style church.
St. John's Episcopal Church is locally important because it is the oldest remaining church building of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana west of the Mississippi River. The square on which it is located has been the home of the church parish since it was organized by Bishop Leonidas K. Polk on February 9, 1843. Even though the building underwent some alterations in 1856 and again in 1867-68, it is still a good example of the Greek Revival style, with its classical pilasters across the front and two sides, its entablature with dentiled cornice, and its pedimented gable end on the front. The use of the Greek Revival style for St. John's Church, probably due to its 1840's date of construction, separates it somewhat at least visually from the other Episcopal churches started by Bishop Polk in Louisiana. Most, if not all, of these other churches, which were built in the mid-nineteenth century, are believed to be in the Gothic Revival style.
St. John's suffered interior damage from occupation by Federal troops during the Civil War. Services were suspended at that time. The church was repaired and refurbished after the Civil War, and a recessed chancel was built in 1867-68, with a stained glass window in the west wall, at a cost of $1,500.00 This was the last structural change to the fabric of St. John's Church, although the original stained glass window was replaced in 1937 by the present one. The exterior brick received a cumulative layer of yellow paint, covering the soft red brick until 1969 when it was removed. Thus, St. John's Episcopal Church now appears to passersby on Jackson Street as it did in the mid-nineteenth century.
A closer view of the stained glass window

Sometime later than the old picture, an enclosed choir stall was built where the organ stands, but, in a later restoration, the stall was removed to open up the space and return the chancel to its lovely original symmetry.

Today, the organ console is in the right front of the church, and in the left front stands a fine Yamaha grand piano on loan to the church for our use in services and for the use of visiting musicians in the Music at St John series.

Organ console

The pipes for the 1893 Ferrand & Votey organ, situated in the loft of the church, are shown below.

Further information on the pipe organ may be found here.

My original intention was a simple compare and contrast of the interior of the church then and now, but the post turned into a tour de force of St John's Church.  I'm not called the long-winded lady without reason.  Below is a picture of the exterior of the church, in the event you're curious after seeing the rest of the photos.  As you see, the bricks have, once again, been painted, this time white.

Thus endeth the tour.

Friday, December 12, 2014


A group of women who restored a 19th century Voodoo queen's tomb are now working in a Thibodaux cemetery.

Employees of the New Orleans-based Bayou Preservation will be at St. John's Episcopal Cemetery off of Jackson Street on Saturday. They said this will be their fourth visit since the church hired them to restore some of the tombs, some of which are 100 years or older.
That's our cemetery, next to St John's Episcopal Church.  St. John's is not just the burial spot for members of our church but, for many years, was and is known as the Protestant cemetery for the Thibodaux area. Older tombs are falling apart, and are now being restored through the restoration project, which began several years ago and continues now as funds are available.

The cloud of witnesses in the cemetery is filled with peaceful spirits, and it's a lovely spot to meditate. On a day of prayer and quiet time St John's, I spent the breaks for time alone for contemplation in the cemetery, but I was not really alone.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


St John's Episcopal Church
Since neither congregation of our two churches, Trinity Episcopal Church in Morgan City, Louisiana, nor my church, St John's Episcopal Church in Thibodaux, Louisiana, can afford a full time rector, we are exploring a partnership to share a priest who will serve half-time in each parish.  The members of the two churches shared a meal at a restaurant and a barbecue at the home of a parishioner in Morgan City.  In addition, people from both congregations have attended services at the other church.

Trinity Episcopal Church
The search committee, which includes an equal number of members of both parishes, has been chosen, and they have met with each other and with the vestries of the two churches.  So far, the process is going forward smoothly.

Please pray with us that the search committee will find a priest who is compatible with the congregations of the two parishes, that the two vestries will concur, and that the priest is willing to serve as pastor to our churches.  A member of St John's wrote the prayer below, which I will place in a prominent position on my sidebar to remind me and anyone who wishes to join with us in prayer during this process.
Dear Lord, we ask your help in guiding and directing St John's and Trinity in our search for a new rector.  Where there are differences, help mold us into one heart and one mind, being ever mindful of the needs of each other.  Where doubts and uncertainties may arise, grant us faith and courage to ask what you would have us do.  And finally Lord, give us the spirit of your wisdom to find someone who will adopt our families as part of their family, and strengthen us as faithful ministers to do your will.  In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


How long the grotto in honor of Our Lady has been in place on the bank of Bayou Lafourche in Thibodaux, I have no idea, but, only the other day, when I picked my grandson up from day camp, did I first take note.  The grotto is on the main road through town, which makes it quite visible, and I wonder how I could have missed seeing it for however long it's been there.

The grotto stands next to a peaceful scene of Bayou Lafourche, which is a tributary of the Mississippi River. 

The opening to the left of the statue of Mary curves through to the side of the grotto, to what purpose I can't say.

The top photo shows the corner of the bench where visitors can sit and pray, or meditate, or simply rest a while.

Now that I've discovered the structure, I'd like to know something about when it was constructed and by whom.  I Googled, but I found nothing. 

The photo to the right shows the side opening of the grotto.  As you see from the green moss or lichen (or whatever) growing on the stones, the structure has been there a while.

To the right of the grotto is a paved area large enough to park two cars.  The entire concept is well-planned and well-constructed.  Now that I've discovered the grotto, I want to know more.


Our Lady stands
In the small grotto
Built by unknown hands
On the bank of the bayou
And prays in peaceful repose

(June Butler - 7/17/2013)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Nyada Dué deGravelles, on Wednesday, May 23, 2013, entered into eternal rest at the age of 88.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend the visitation from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and from 10 a.m. until funeral time Wednesday at St. John's Episcopal Church on Jackson St. in Thibodaux. A Mass of Christian burial will be at noon Wednesday at the church, with burial in the church cemetery.

She is survived by her son, J.P. deGravelles and wife, Bridgette; daughters, Pamela deGravelles and Trudy deGravelles Bourgeois and husband, Kenneth; brother, Paul H. Dué; 10 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Norbert "Nobby" deGravelles; and parents, Paul Dué and Elva Nase.

Nyada was a native of Covington. and lived in Thibodaux for 67 years.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in her name may be made to St. John's Episcopal Church-UTO fund.

Landry's Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Nyada was a lovely woman who lived the Gospel of love and service to the fullest, and despite "the changes and chances of this mortal life," of which she had her share, she nearly always had a smile on her face like the smile in the picture.  Today family and friends bade farewell to Nyada at St John's, the church community that she loved and served so well over many years, where she will be greatly missed.
Into thy hands, O merciful Savior, we commend thy servant Nyada. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech thee, a sheep of thine own fold, a lamb of thine own flock, a sinner of thine own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of thy mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light.  Amen.

(Book of Common Prayer)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


If you're in the neighborhood of Thibodaux, LA, the Trifecta should be fun.  I'll be there.

Gene, the accompanist, is staying at our house, and he cooked a delicious meal for us last night.  He saw shrimp in the refrigerator and asked us if we wanted him to prepare supper.  Of course, we said, "Yes."  He gathered up whatever other suitable ingredients he could find and put them all together to make a very tasty dish.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Today is the feast of St John the Evangelist, the patron of my church. The Fathers of the Church believed John the Evangelist was the author of the Gospel, three Epistles, and the Book of Revelation, and the same person as John the Apostle and John of Patmos.  Later scholars suggest rather that a disciple of John the Apostle wrote the Gospel and three Epistles and that John of Patmos was a different person, because the writing style of the Book of Revelation is too different from the Gospel and Epistles.

Pictured above is the stained glass window at St. John's Episcopal Church in Thibodaux. If you click on the picture, you see (somewhat blurred) the detail in the glass which shows a snake coming out of the goblet in John's hand. According to legend, the emperor Domitian offered poisoned wine to John, but he blessed the wine and the poison came out of the goblet in the form of a snake.  A painting by El Greco illustrates the same legend.

Collect of the day
Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light; that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, December 24, 2012


718 Jackson Street 

Thibodaux, LA 70301

* Christmas Eve Services -
Dec. 24  
St. John’s  -  5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. 
St. Joseph’s Manor Chapel -  2:00 p.m.

St. John’s parishioners are not only friendly with one another but are truly welcoming to the newcomer.  So, on behalf of the people of God here at St. John’s Episcopal, WELCOME!
UPDATE: St John's dressed for Christmas Eve.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Julie Green carving the cross
Residents will soon have a new way to remember their deceased loves ones in Thibodaux.
St. John’s Episcopal Church on Jackson Street is putting the finishing touches on a scatter garden, which will eventually be home to countless cremated ashes.

“We want it to be a place where you can come visit your ancestors who are there,” said the Rev. Ron Clingenpeel, priest in charge for St. John’s, which dates back to 1843. “It is a place where one can encounter God, holiness and a real sense of peace in their lives, knowing this is where their loved ones are.”

The scatter garden will be a space where families can spread the ashes of their loved ones and go to remember them in the following years, Clingenpeel said.
The cross that will stand in the scatter garden is beautiful.  Julie, a parishioner, is a true artist, and her carving is a work of art.  And what a fine idea to have the scatter garden at St John's.

Enclosure walls of the future scatter garden

The grounds of the scatter garden are unfinished. All that's complete are the brick wall segments that will define the garden area.

My family knows of my wish to be cremated...not yet, of course,...but I had not decided where I wanted my ashes scattered.  I knew I did not want them placed in a container on the mantlepiece, and with the advent of the scatter garden, my decision was easy.

UPDATE: The intention is to scatter the ashes, but if family and friends of the deceased would prefer burial of the ashes in a biodegradable container, then that will be an alternative.  Of course, the garden will be made beautiful with landscaping. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Diana dressed for the celebration in her own special beads.

Today is our Mardi Gras celebration. The parades pass in front of St John's Episcopal Church. We have church, then a potluck lunch, and then two parades. On Tuesday, we are not going anywhere soooo, 'Eh la bas! Mardi Gras!'

Pictured above is a sedate church member wearing her regular Sunday go-to-meetin' hat.

Above is sedate church member's daughter dancing in the street.

Balfa Brothers - 'La Dance Des Mardi Gras'

Monday, August 15, 2011


From the Daily Comet:
The "devil" came to Thibodaux Sunday, Jesslyn Lirette said, and he did so in the form of the man she was with for 10 years. The devil, she said, took her "angel" away.

Jeremiah Wright, 30, Lirette's live-in boyfriend and the father of their child, 7-year-old Jori Lirette, is accused of killing the boy and dumping his dismembered body outside the West Seventh Street home the three shared.

Jori loved his father more than anything, Lirette said.

"He still killed him," she said. "He killed my baby."
I'm sick at heart and hardly have words for this story. If you read the entire article, it seems there were so many signs along the way that the family needed help, and had someone or some agency intervened, the tragedy may have been prevented.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

UPDATE: A further update from the Daily Comet, with more unspeakably gruesome details on the killing.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Out damned spots! I don't know what the spots in the photos are. They sometimes appear when I don't have enough light.

Spots be damned, we had a good rain this afternoon. For a while there, I was worried. The thunder clapped; the lightening flashed; the wind blew, but no rain fell. I thought we'd have a storm without rain. And then the rains came.

Grandpère says that we have not had rain since Mardi Gras, which was on March 8, three months ago. Thanks be to God for the liquid refreshment.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Andrej Kurti performs Bach's Allemanda from Partita in D Minor

Andrej Kurti performs Bach's Giga from Partita in D Minor

Kurti performed in the Music at St John's program here in Thibodaux this afternoon. He played the whole of Bach's Partita beautifully. The entire program is shown below

Not only is Kurti an amazing musician, but he is a delightful person and quite good-looking. He speaks with animation and expression and gestures often as he speaks. A brief biography from Kurti's website is below:
Andrej Kurti was born in 1971 in Belgrade, Serbia, where he completed his elementary and high school education in the studio of Professor Djula Tesenji.He continued his studies in Moscow "Tchaikovsky" Conservatory in studios of professors Levon Ambartsumian and Zorya Schikmurzaeva.

Kurti finished his graduate studies in the University of Georgia, where he received doctorate degree in violin performance.

He was a recipient of five first prizes in competitions in Yugoslavia, four first prizes in competitions in Georgia and Florida, and a finalist of the MTNA (Music Teacher National Association) Competition in 1998. In 2000, Kurti became a recording artist for classical label Blue Griffin Recordings, for which he later recorded Six Sonatas for Violin Solo by Eugene Ysaye, op.27. These Sonatas were the topic for his doctoral dissertation.In 2004, Kurti became a professor of violin at Northwestern State University of Louisiana, where he teaches students from several countries.He appeared as a soloist with many symphony orchestras in the United States, Serbia, Montenegro, Italy, Greece, and Russia. He also appeared as a chamber performer in Spain, France, Latvia, Canada, and South Korea.

The high quality of musicianship of those who perform in our music program surprises me time and again, as I'm quite sure the organization cannot afford to pay them a large fee.

Monday, March 21, 2011



From the Daily Comet:
THIBODAUX — One of the city’s longest-running gumbo fundraisers is back for another year as St. John’s Episcopal Church continues its chicken-and-sausage gumbo sale.

Run by the Episcopal Church Women, the gumbo is sold from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Monday during Lent. The meal costs $8 and includes carrot or potato salad, French bread, iced tea and homemade dessert.

The fundraiser began more than 20 years ago when the church’s ladies were looking for an outreach program, said Nyada DeGravelles, a founding member.

The chief beneficiary is the local Good Samaritan Food Bank. The gumbo also serves to draw folks to St. John's to get to know us in the midst of an area that is heavily Roman Catholic.

St. Joseph Roman Catholic Co-Cathedral serves a seafood gumbo on Fridays, and the two congregations support one another in their fundraising efforts.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Today is Mardi Gras. Really! Mardi Gras was not last Tuesday, as in my erroneous post, which I quickly removed, but which stays in Google Reader probably forever. Tomorrow is really, really Ash Wednesday, and you will all need to get really, really serious about repentance of your wicked ways. But for one last day, you may revel in your naughtiness.

The pictures are from the Cleophas parade this past Sunday.

"Who Dat?" of course! - in honor of the New Orleans Saints football team. The National Football League has copyrighted the phrase, "Who Dat?" - as though they could.

Who dat wit' de umbrella? Dat's the rector's wife, dat's who. An' dat's her perch on de telephone box, an' nobody dare to steal her perch.

"We So Broke It's Whatever", to which a good many folks in the country can relate.

Over the hill and deep into the valley on the other side for me.

Thomas the Train, a really cute float. The picture doesn't do it justice.

Grandpère and the middle generation, my son and daughter-in-law.

The elder generation, who stay at home on Mardi Gras, but not on the Sunday before. It's raining here today. I hope it's not raining in New Orleans and in the other cities which have parades.

An' dat's dat, as dey say.

Sunday, March 6, 2011



The pictures are from the Ambrosia parade in Thibodaux, Louisiana, Sunday a week ago, which I mistakenly thought was the Sunday before Mardi Gras. In fact, last Tuesday, I put up a post wishing everyone Happy Mardi Gras, which I quickly removed as soon as I found out it was not Mardi Gras day. The posts stay in Google Reader seemingly forever, even after they are deleted, and I was well embarrassed.


Below is Grandpère watching the parade the easy way and not caring at all if he catches beads.


The young man below was, by far, the most adorable amongst the people watching the parade. Just look at his strawberry blond hair!


A recycled photo of Diana in her beads.

Today is the real Sunday before Mardi Gras, with another parade that passes in front of our church. Usually the crowds that attend today's parade, Cleophas, are larger than the numbers who come out for the Ambrosia parade.

At this very moment, Grandpère is putting together the ham and sausage jambalaya which will be our contribution to the potluck lunch in the church hall before today's parade.

See how Grandpère and I love one another? Last Sunday, it was quite warm with a strong wind blowing. Today, the weather is gray and cooler.