Habitual readers of Up Front may have been wondering when the Up Fronter would inform the world of the big annual new and used book sale at Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. Well, that is happening at the exact moment you are reading this.
The sale will be held, as usual, in the church’s gym. Get there by going to 715 Kirkman St. in Lake Charles. Times and hours are Friday, March 23, from 8 am-6 pm; Saturday, March 24, from 9 am-3 pm; and Sunday, March 25, noon-3 pm. Sunday is always the day when you get to buy a full grocery bag of books for $5.
As far as I know, this is the biggest annual book sale in the Lake Area.
Until March 1, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd will accept donations of used or new books, DVDs and audio books. (No encyclopedias or textbooks, please.) Just put your donations in the drop-off boxes in the covered drive-through at that 715 Kirkman St. address.
Can You Match Brando?
Although Tennessee Williams lived off and on in New Orleans, it wasn’t until 1962 that he finally bought a house there.
Long before, in 1947, Williams published a play about a streetcar that ran in New Orleans: A Streetcar Named Desire. The play won a Pulitzer Prize the year it appeared. In 1951, a nearly unknown actor named Marlon Brando became a star when he played the lead in the film version of Streetcar and almost won the Best Actor Oscar.
The most famous of several legendary Brando scenes in the film was the one in which he stood on a New Orleans sidewalk and screamed “Stella” to the top floor of his apartment building. Brando’s character — Stanley Kowalski — was in agony because his wife had temporarily left him, fleeing his violent behavior for the safety of the upstairs neighbor’s place. Brando’s famous scream lasted 8 seconds.
Every year, Brando enthusiasts try to out-scream the master in New Orleans’ Jackson Square’s “Stella And Stanley Shouting Contest.” Those who want to compete can start signing up at 3:45 pm on March 25. The first 25 to sign up will get to scream. Women can yell either for Stanley or Stella. The yelling begins at 4:15 pm.
While all this yelling is going on, NOLA Project’s Cecile Monteyne will be portraying Stella on a balcony of Jackson Square.
The best yeller gets a prize.
A few years ago, I did a story in Lagniappe about Bay St. Louis, a little country town about 15 minutes out of Biloxi, Miss. It’s as nice a place as any to spend a weekend or a long afternoon. It’s a little artists’ colony with plenty of strong coffee and lots of home cooking. The graveyard in the oceanside getaway has stones dating from the 17th century.
Anyway, turns out Bay St. Louis also has a Stella Yelling Contest, and it’s in its 10th year. It takes place a week after the N.O. event, on March 31. I couldn’t find a starting time, so if you’re interested, keep checking back at (228) 467-9024 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The event will take place at the Bay St. Louis Little Theatre at 398 Blaize Ave.
Swamp Witch Hattie
“Swamp Witch Hattie” is the name of a new art contest being run by The Gallery by the Lake. The idea is to solicit art that addresses the fascinating topic of “Bayou Legends, Monsters And Friends.”
The ideal art work will be that which interprets legends, monsters and friends in the bayous of Louisiana.
Here’s what you can submit: any two-dimensional work on paper or canvas that is made with digital art, printmaking, oil, watercolor, acrylic, pen and ink, charcoal, pastel or mixed media. Keep the size of the work within 18 by 24 inches.
Work should have been completed at some time in the last two years. Artists should be 18 or older.
Art works should be ready to hang. Works on paper must be framed.
You’ll need to get your entries in by March 10.
Prizes are $500 for first place, $300 for second and $100 for third.
To submit, go to client.smartentry.com. The $25 fee gives artists the chance to submit up to three works. The gallery takes a 20-percent commission on any work sold.
The exhibit of the works will take place April 8-July 25. The juror will be Lesley Kushner, a graduate of the Parsons School of Design in Greenwich Village who works out of her studio in Brooklyn.
The Gallery by the Lake is located at 106 W. Pryce St. Need more info? Call 436-1008 or 515-879.
Bourbon Street Is Repaved. Yipee.
For a year, the city of New Orleans worked on repaving Bourbon Street. City leaders thought the last day of January would be a good day to hold a press conference and announce that the French Quarter was back in business.
What was not, maybe, promoted quite as much as all that was the fact that New Orleans also spent the last year hassling the eight strip joints in the Quarter, shutting down four temporarily and two permanently.
Well, as the great reopening of Bourbon Street got underway, it immediately became obvious that the strip club workers had shown up in force, and that they were angry and loud.
It was a real culture clash, as Mark Romig, the geriatric, white male head of the N.O. Tourism Marketing Corp., had to stop his big press conference repeatedly as he was shouted down by a big crowd of women one-fourth his age.
Any one of the protest signs was 1,000 times more interesting than speaker Romig, who looked as if he might expire and topple over at any instant. Signs bore such slogans as “Hands off our jobs,” “It’s Bourbon St., Not Sesame St.” and “WE ARE NOT VICTIMS!” The Bourbon Alliance for Responsible Entertaining (BARE) — a group largely made up of strippers — sold members of the crowd plastic bottles of “STRIPPER TEARS” at a dollar a pop. At a certain point, members of BARE took their own microphones and simply started talking over the official speakers. If the city was expecting a grand reopening of Bourbon Street, this wasn’t it.
One indication that things weren’t going as well as they might have was the status of featured speaker Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who was set to address the crowd and help it “celebrate progress on Bourbon Street.” Turned out the mayor couldn’t make it to the event. Wonder what he had to do that was more important.
The city of New Orleans had always argued it was putting the heat on the adult clubs as a way of curbing human trafficking. To date, there has not been a single arrest in the French Quarter for human trafficking.
Money Is Where You Find It
I know that newspapers are hurting. And what I’m about to describe is not the most outrageous thing a newspaper’s done to try to make it.
In the week I wrote this column, I noticed a new feature in The Advocate. Under every photo that appears with every story is a little button that says “Buy Now.”
The placement of the Buy Now button right next to the photo gets high marks for convenience. But are many people really going to want to buy garden variety journalistic photos? I have my doubts. I thought I might click the button if I saw a picture of some of the protesting employees of Larry Flynt’s Hustlers Barely Legal — one of the N.O. clubs that’s been shut down. But no such luck. However, Flynt’s filed an injunction against N.O. So, I may yet have an opportunity to give The Advocate some of my money.
Man, I Can’t Believe I Forgot About That
It’s like a good barbecue or board game party — it only happens a couple of times a year. But when it does, it’s time for you to celebrate your party with you (and with Kool and the Gang).
I’m talking about the periodic arrival of the new Tools For Freedom catalogue in the Up Front editorial offices. The brand new catalogue is 2018 Vol. 1a. And I was not disappointed in it. How could I be?
The cover headlines read:
“Major corporations and governments are planning to track your every move in real time …
“Learn how to REJECT the chip!”
So … I finally had an explanation for this big bump in the middle of my forehead that feels like it has a BB inside it and sends out a beeping noise every 15 minutes. It’s nice to have an explanation. I admit I wasn’t really that worried about the bump. In fact, I kind of enjoyed rolling around the BB thing with my index finger in my spare time. But the beeping does really annoy my cat.
Well, the 88-page catalogue is just full of listings for far-out DVDs and books. I bet some of these titles will really make you say, “hmm,” and scratch your chin and roll your eyes. Let’s see if I’m right. Punctuation, capitalization and grammar are kept just as they are in the originals. Here’s the list:
“Is Michelle Obama Really a Man?” (See, I bet you didn’t see that one coming.)
“Are Rh-Negative Blood Types Alien to this World?”
“1000% Proof Earth Is Flat” (100% would have been adequate.)
“There are No Forests on Earth!” (This DVD comes with a special warning for “coarse language.” Maybe the dude is really upset that some people insist on insisting there are still forests.)
“256 Year Old Man Reveals Secrets to His Longevity”
“Stop the Aging Process in 11 Minutes”
“Access First-Class Coaching on Reality Creation and Manifestation” (Say what?)
“Breakthrough: Holographic Regeneration of Limbs” (This DVD was put together by “Captain K,” who “reclaimed his memories of serving on a Mars colony for around 17 years in the Secret Space Program.” And yes, in case you were wondering, “holographic technology … can be used to restore massive tissue loss.”)
And this last one’s just plain funny:
“The Universal Power Inside of You That You Forgot About”
I forgot I had that much laughter inside of me. The last two pages of the catalogue are devoted to sale items; for instance, there’s “Project Serpo: The Human-Alien Exchange Plan Set in Motion by Kennedy” for just $12.99. CHEAP!
If you can’t wait to learn more, visit ToolsForFreedom.com or call 800-770-8802.
“Kylie Jenner reveals her baby’s name”
“Your relationship has hit a ‘rough patch.’ Now what?”
“Bob Marley lyrics that still hold true today (and probably always will)”
— Headlines from CNN, all on Feb. 6. [The editor suggests these additional stories: “Bob Marley lyrics that still hold true today (but probably won’t always hold true),” “Bob Marley lyrics that no longer hold true (but probably will hold true in the entirety of the future)” and “Bobby Goldsboro lyrics that will remain profoundly relevant as long as mankind exists.”]