Miss Teen America Is Westlake Resident

Brad Goins Thursday, October 17, 2019 Comments Off on Miss Teen America Is Westlake Resident
Miss Teen America Is Westlake Resident

Jillian Elliott of Westlake was recently crowned Miss Teen America 2019.

Elliott is a senior at Westlake High School, where she serves as captain of the Cheer Squad and president of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee. She is a member of many clubs, including Beta, Student Council, Literary Rally and Future Business Leaders of America. 

On July 20, Elliott was crowned Miss Teen America 2019 in San Antonio. She went through four areas of competition: interview, gown, athletic wear and fashion runway. 

During her reign, she will travel nationally and internationally, promoting her issue, which is “The Gift of Literacy.” She will also endeavor to serve as a role model for younger girls.

To learn more, search Facebook and Instagram for “Jillian Elliott” and “Miss Teen America.” Photos of Elliott are by Goodwin Photography. 

Young Band Nation Gigs

This is just the right time to provide a schedule of upcoming performances by students of Lake Charles’ Young Band Nation. These dates cover the entire academic semester. Here’s where you can see these future professional musicians perform in coming days and weeks:

Oct. 19, noon to 1:30 pm: ChuckFest in downtown Lake Charles. All bands will play.

Oct. 26, 5 to 9 pm: Lost Hollows Haunted Trail. Only the AITP (Advanced Industry Training Program) band will play.

Nov. 10,  5 to 7 pm: Sax in the City, at Golden Nugget. Only AITP band performs. 

Dec. 12, 13 and 14: Christmas in Louisiana, to coincide with the Lake Charles Civic Ballet performance in Rosa Hart Theater in the Civic Center. AITP band only.

Dec. 21, 2 to 5 pm: Winter Jam at the Panorama Music House. All bands will perform. Need to know more? Call 513-7905 or email lakecharlesyoungbandnation@gmail.com.

Bayou Writers Group

Aspiring writers are invited to join the Bayou Writers Group on Saturday, October 5, 10 am, on the second floor of the Central Library on Ernest Street for the group’s monthly meeting. Visit bayouwritersgroup.com or the group’s Facebook page for more information. 

Creative Writing Workshop

For other locals who want to develop or hone their writing skills, Central Library in Lake Charles will host a free creative writing workshop, Creating Memorable Characters, Oct. 14, 4 to 5 pm. 

Participants will learn how to create realistic and convincing characters. Notebooks, drawing paper and pencils will be provided, but participants can bring their own writing materials. For more information, call 721-7117.

Old Timey Music

At the Strand Theatre at 432 North Main St. in Jennings there will be an old-timey fiddle music contest. Battle of the Bows: The Cajun Fiddle Competition will take place Nov. 2, 9 am to noon. Players can compete in five categories: youth, junior, adult, pro and twin fiddle. Prizes and awards will be given.

Want to know more? Call 337-329-0106 or email dougdugas57@gmail.com. 

Two Cowboys Enter Hall Of Fame

With football season well underway, this might be a good time to point out to any Cowboy fans who missed the news that two former McNeese football players were just selected for inclusion in the McNeese Sports Hall of Fame. 

A consensus All-American as an offensive lineman in 1994 by the AFCA, AP, Walter Camp and Sports Network, Ronald Cherry helped lead the Cowboys to the 1993 Southland Conference championship and three straight FCS playoff appearances that resulted from the quarterfinal rounds from 1992-94. He earned first team all-conference and all-Louisiana honors in 1994 and was named McNeese’s Desmond Jones Athlete of the Year for the 1993-94 season. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round of the 1995 NFL Draft, and also played with the Atlanta Falcons. He was named to the Southland Conference’s 1990s All-Decade Team.

Chris Fontenot played for the Cowboys from 1994-97 and was a part of the 1995 and 1997 conference championship teams, making an appearance in the 1995 FCS semifinals and 1997 FCS National Championship game. A 1997 Walter Camp All-American, Fontenot continues to be the McNeese program’s all-time leading tight end receiver with 99 catches for 1,349 yards, as well as the top single-season tight end with 44 catches in 1997. He’s a member of the McNeese Football 75th Anniversary Team.

Watch Out, Secretary Gee

Many of us know that Gov. Edwards has arranged to spend $450 million on renovation of the Superdome. Aside from that, there hasn’t been much of interest happening in the governor’s race. But when something does raise brows, it usually comes from Ralph Abraham, the leading Republican candidate. 

In a recent Abraham ad, the candidate was irritated because of a survey he said was promoted by the Louisiana Dept. of Health that would ask middle-school children “sexually explicit questions.” 

Abraham gave some specifics, saying the survey would ask students whether they’d ever had “vaginal, anal or oral sex” and whether they are “gay, lesbian or bisexual.” Abraham said that the Allen Parish School Board told him the Louisiana Dept. of Health said the survey was a necessary requirement to secure “grant funding.” 

This was Abraham’s take on the matter: “As a family doctor, I’m disgusted with what state government is doing to our children. This is a topic that should be addressed privately by parents and their children or doctors and their patients. This is another example of how John Bel’s Dept. of Health is imposing its radical agenda on our state. When I’m governor, I will fire Sec. Gee on day one and reform this department from top down.”

Things sure have changed since I was in junior high. No one would ever have asked us those sorts of questions. But we did have an awful lot of fist fights in school. I didn’t mind the fist fights and I don’t think I would have understood the questions. So I don’t know what to think.

The World Of Cypress Wood Art

Long-time Westlake resident “Herbie” Peshoff is staying active in his hobby of crafting art works out of pieces of cypress, some of which he thinks are 800 to 1,000 years old. He gets some of his cypress wood fragments from the Calcasieu River. But one of his cardinal rules is to get “nothing green.” He never cuts living cypress.

Peshoff cautions anyone who is thinking of picking a piece of cypress off the bed of a body of water to be careful. Cottonmouths often hang out under these pieces of wood. His advice: “You better slow down.”

The two pieces of Peshoff’s work that I saw were both about 4 feet tall. Each was made of a big piece of cypress. But a smaller piece was attached; this can be used as a candle holder.

On their surfaces, the pieces have very elaborate carvings of objects, such as birds, that Peshoff has made with wood burners. Peshoff says this particular part of the work is “tedious.” But these realistic carvings are what some art buyers may well appreciate the most.

Peshoff does not sell his pieces for his own benefit. He gives the money to charity. Proceeds from the two pieces I saw will go to help veterans and the children of St. Jude.

A retired welder, Peshoff has been making his cypress wood art for 30 years. He’s recently dedicated himself to his art with renewed vigor. “My whole world’s opening up,” he says.

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