According to designers, the tradition of painting one’s porch ceiling blue has spread across the country, the idea being it imparts a cozy Southern charm and confuses wasps. Decorators are fielding requests for the color, known popularly as “Haint Blue,” which, in the Deep South, is believed to carry the added benefit of repelling evil spirits.

Since Hollywood began, Southerners have been painted as superstitious and naive, in addition to a tad eccentric, so it should come as no surprise that Benjamin Moore can take care of things that go bump in the night.

Wasps are another matter. The vision system of wasps is unsubstantiated, and even that of honeybees is of relatively recent study. However, biologists agree that all insects see colors in a completely different manner than humans, and although we see the sky as blue, they see “blue” in their own insect way and can’t be easily fooled. They have sophisticated receptors for UV light to help them navigate the outdoors and know a ceiling when they see one. (Speaking of, a bad picture’s been painted of wasps. They are extremely beneficial to humans and so adept at controlling pests that agriculture deploys them to protect crops.)

As for restless souls, given the number of supposed apparitions in the South, it’s doubtful that blue troubles them, either. “Haunted” locations in Louisiana (including the offices of one prominent politician) are so plentiful, they’re an industry. In fact, a California reporter once overheard me discussing my own brush with the paranormal at The Myrtles and said, “You don’t think that has more to do with you being from the South?”

No. It has to do with ghosts not wanting to live in the North.


Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at pgannon@theadvocate.com.

Night at the Museum

The Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum opened its summer season to grand acclaim. Hors d’oeuvres and compliments circulated equally as guests flocked to see works by French Impressionist Pierre Bonnard and local artist Francis Pavy, among others. Enjoying both the art and the ambience: out-of-towners Gary and Mimi Denton, Fête fan Dr. Gene Louviere and wife Sylvia, Jim and Flo Meadows, collectors Burnell Lemoine and Ed Dubuisson, Pavy himself, and Fifi and Carolyn Billeaud, bound for the Danube and Budapest later this summer.

Face to Face

Lafayette surrealist Amy Guidry unveiled her work “Sentience” at LeMieux Galleries in New Orleans. “The show is a group exhibition of various interpretations of portraiture,” said Guidry. “I chose to do a portrait of a wolf because we can see ourselves in animals. The third eye I painted is a symbol of enlightenment and is a human eye, in reference to the fact that we are all part of the animal kingdom.” Face to face with Guidry was cool guy and Nola fine artist John Isiah Walton.

Long Live the Queen

Kay Foreman will wear the crown as Queen Xanadu XXVIII, the luck of the draw at a Petroleum Club luncheon. President Kim Minyard pulled her name out of the royal hat, so to speak, and the newly minted queen dined on chilled pea soup with mint and lemon mousse, while showing off some fierce hats were new members Angela Reid, Rusti Morel and Lindsey Credeur, royalty chairwoman Roxie Fontenot and ball captain Tina DeRouen. Court muses for 2018 are Amy Brunet, Aileen Dauterive, Emily Goodman, Julie Isenberg, Shelley Johnson, Christine Mire, Angela Reid, Joy Scallan and Kim Thibodeaux. The king and theme won’t be announced until August.