Rewind to 1977: I was sitting in the back of geometry class with the newest Fern Michaels paperback stuck in my text book. I have always been an avid reader and in those teenage days much preferred romantic fiction to any type of math. (Actually, I still do.) On this day I had an empowering revelation and it wasn’t about how to find the area of a triangle.
The historical female lead in this book was not the boringly typical simpering, swooning maid. She didn’t wring her hands and wait to be rescued. This particular lady kicked ass and took names all on her own. Since I was never one of those girly-girls, this was excellent news. Her name was Sirena and she was a Pirate! For as long as it took me to finish the book (twice) I sailed the seas and kicked butt right alongside her. It was awesome.
Fast forward to 2008: I am waiting on traffic at a corner in the New Orleans French Quarter and swaggering down the street is my teenage hero, Sirena the Pirate, in full swashbuckling regalia. I’m talking plumed hat, bustier, knee boots and sword clanking at her side. I blinked a few times but Sirena was still there, only it wasn’t Sirena from “Captive Passions”, it was Renee’ of the New Orleans Krewe of Pirate Wenches.
Ahoy there, mates! The NOLA Wenches is a social club located in New Orleans, their favorite port of call. These Pirate pretties party and celebrate in the tradition of the Krewes of old. According to their website the Krewe was founded in August 2007 in New Orleans. Their mission is to bring a taste of the sometimes scandalous and revelrous high seas life of the 17th century into the lives of the modern-day pirates and wenches as they eat, drink, and terrorize the town for great causes.
These gals and guys are dedicated to bringing the history of the New Orleans pirates, privateers and Baratarians alive and incorporating that into all they do for the community. They do everything from parade, promote tourism, perform, to promote and support local NOLA establishments. Since 2007 they have volunteered their time and efforts at countless fundraising events, parades, parties, and acts of piracy.
Land, or should I say, NOLA ho! There is plenty of plundering and cannons thundering going on here! Hey Jimmy, it’s not too late! Doesn’t that just shiver your timbers? Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirates life for me!
By Sharon Denise Talbot
Interested in joining the Krewe or taking part in some piratical escapades. For more information on the Krewe of Pirate Wenches visit www.nolawenches.com
What a blast. I’m glad everyone that came was just as screwed up as us. Here’s footage from the first couple of days PRIOR to New Year’s Eve.
Please check our internet turned “In Real Life” friends in this video out:
Duration : 0:8:18
Look at this article
heres a clip of it
"We’re concentrating on making it very realistic: nothing bigger than life, no superhero stunts, nothing that a normal guy who has the energy and stamina couldn’t do. So I think it’s going to really work on many levels and bring him down to kind of an Everyman — a guy men can relate to, women can like, kids find appealing."
Heres the rest
What do u think about the movie?
what the marine should have been like, a normal guy who isnt superman.
Chances are if you have walked down any French Quarter street in the last few years you have seen my friend, Ray Hostetter. He might have the phone to his ear or a tool of some kind in hand, but he always has a smile and a “Hey there” for passersby. Now that may have been the extent of our association too, except for one thing (ok, two) I love construction, reconstruction, building, renovating, decorating. Whatever name you put on it, the creative process is fascinating to me. Oh, and the second thing – I’m just nosy.
In my “ratting” around the Quarter, I had seen Ray at times working on a particularly beautiful place on the corner of Dauphine and Orleans. I could see the intensive work being done to the outside, but it was just killing me to know what they were doing to the inside. Come on, I know you know exactly what I’m talking about. I saw the nose smudges on the windows. (Oops, sorry. I guess those were mine.) Lo and behold, on this particular day a couple of years ago the door was wide open, so um, what to do, what to do? Exactly, I went in.
Ray grew up in the construction business and was working in California until a series of events changed life as he knew it. Work got scarce in big CA, Katrina hit New Orleans, a family member living in New Orleans said “Bring the wife and new baby over and work here”. After doing a couple of flood houses in mid city and a 20 unit apartment complex Ray was introduced to the owner of the Orleans Avenue project, who we will call Mr. C. It is interesting how one thing leads to another. Mr. C. had rented a Bourbon Street balcony one Mardi Gras from Ray’s relative years ago and they became friends.
While into the Orleans Avenue project, Mr. C. decided to acquire the property at 435 Bourbon and turn it from a t-shirt shop into a bar. (Incidentally, this was the same place that he had rented all those Mardi Gras’ ago.) The whole bottom floor had to be taken out for the new electrical so while Ray was digging trenches between floor joices he made a discovery, an 1850 bottle of “Dr. J. Hostetter Stomach Bitters”. This concoction of vitamins and herbs and 94% alcohol was sold to the Union army by train car from Pennsylvania during the first prohibition. Cool, huh? But it gets better. Did you notice that Dr. J and Ray share the same last name? After doing a little research Ray found he and Dr. J were actually related. That was when it all made sense for Ray, “I am in the right place doing what I am supposed to be doing.”
The Orleans Avenue project had discoveries of its’ own. The first came when removing walls, Ray came upon the initials A.H. (another relative??) carved in a board with the date 1901. Attached was a 1901 silver coin which today is worth $6,000.00. These old French Quarter buildings are treasure troves and that is exactly what Ray thought when he uncovered the next surprise. Extensive work was being done on the previously lathe and plastered walls. Mr. C wanted the old brick walls exposed, cleaned and repointed. In the process it was noticed that there was a definite brick archway visible just above floor level in the downstairs bedroom.
At this point, you know a vision of Lafitte’s treasure was dancing in Ray’s head. The old wood plank floors were pulled out and what looked like a tunnel opening was uncovered several feet under the existing floor. Alas, the only thing inside was years upon years of mud and muck, no treasure. But could it have been a bootleggers’ tunnel from Orleans Avenue to St. Peter and Dauphine, where for years the Tunnel Bar sat on the corner? Research seems to lean more toward what was called a “cabinét”, something like a root cellar and not a tunnel at all. Rather than cover up this historic piece of architecture, lightning and special glass flooring was installed to show it off. It is breathtakingly beautiful, just like the rest of the three story structure and “slave quarters” included in this compound.
Restoring this exquisite showplace to the splendor it deserves was a demanding, detailed project three years in the making and is today a phenomenal piece of workmanship. A credit to a man who truly loves what he does. The mastery of his craft is so obvious in even the smallest detail. Bo might know sports, but Ray definitely knows renovation. You rock Ray!
By Sharon Denise Talbot
*Stay tuned for more Renovation Reports with Ray.
Crown of Life Lutheran was flooded during Hurricane Katrina. Many volunteers from around the country spent all most two years helping the congregation to rebuild. The church was also used as a staging ground to reach out to the New Orleans area. The congregation recently completed this video in order to let everyone know their back and with God’s help ready to serve.
Duration : 0:8:15
Gather round my friends and you will hear the story of a Louisiana couple who persevered. Once upon a time Mindy owned a lingerie shop on Decatur Street in the New Orleans French Quarter. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina the city was in turmoil, and full of construction workers who didn’t need lingerie. Desperate to save her retail space Mindy put the same artistic talent she had used to do the graphic designs on her lingerie to use on handcrafts.
Enter David the limo driver. Katrina also did a number on David. Leaving 10 feet of water in his home and making the need for limo drivers, even 25 year veteran limo drivers, basically non-existent in the Big Easy. It looked like David needed a plan. So with no place to stay and no job David moved to the French Quarter to try to find work. What he found was Mindy. Mindy needed someone to work her table in the French Market and David needed a job. Sounds like a plan to me.
Mindy and David took their plan and a prayer and together turned a floundering lingerie shop into a flourishing business. These guys with camera in hand went around the area taking pictures of NOLA landmarks, hotspots, and businesses. In a 3 day process that demonstrates detailed workmanship they create distinctive works of art in each beautiful glazed tile coaster, magnet and apron that are loved by locals and visitors alike.
Appreciating their efforts to keep intact some of the culture and history of the city, people started bringing in old grocery bags, matchbooks, notebooks, etc. The rest as they say is history, three years worth.
Next time you are in the French Market look for David and let him share some of his wonderfully nostalgic NOLA stories or stop in to see Mindy at the Milk Studio headquarters at 1309 Decatur and check out the new line of soy candles. You can also visit David and Mindy at email@example.com
I am inspired and humbled by the innovative people all over this great state, people like David and Mindy, who have suffered through devastating hurricanes, the aftermath and just rolled up their sleeves, picked up the pieces and kept right on going. Don’t you just love happy endings, it does a body good!
By Sharon Denise Talbot
French Quarter Singers – Life in New Orleans
Duration : 0:2:39
Hey y’all! My first children’s book is now available. WHOOP! WHOOP! This is so exciting! This first book is a true labor of love dedicated to my beautiful granddaughters. It is also extra special because the illustrations were done by my daughter, Laura Ashley Talbot. “I Love You Bigger than The Sky!” is not only a favorite saying that my little hunny bunnies and I share, but the book is full of our favorite things that pale in comparison to how “BIG” we love each other! I know you can relate.
I love being a parent but for me being a grand- parent is a whole new kind of joy. Who knew?! It has inspired me in so many ways. Whether you are a grand-parent, parent or just have a little someone who you love really “BIG” tell them with this super cute book. This is a tuck-in time essential!
Follow the link below to order your first edition copy of “I Love You Bigger Than The Sky!” Check back for dates and locations of forthcoming book signings. Bring your copy!
Look for more of my upcoming children’s books to be available shortly. Thanks so much for your support!