Gaines surprise guest at OLLI at LSU class

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at LSU had a surprise when it attended its second class on the short stories and essays of Ernest J. Gaines on Feb. 26 at the Pointe Coupee Library in New Roads.

Gaines was at the library doing a teleconference with some junior high students in Georgia about his book, “A Lesson Before Dying.” He and his wife, Diane, stayed for more than an hour, answering questions and discussing his work.

Gaines is a native of Oscar and writes short stories that examine the lives of African Americans in Louisiana during the days of Jim Crow. Other works include “Bloodline” and “Mozart and Leadbelly.”

Olivia Pass, who has a PhD in English literature from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and master’s degrees in English and journalism from LSU, teaches the class. OLLI is for learners age 50 and above.

Vinsanau addresses Republican Women

Linda Vinsanau, a member of Metropolitan Republican Women, spoke to the Republican Women of Baton Rouge wine and cheese membership party on Feb. 27 at the Bluebonnet Highlands Clubhouse.

Vinsanau has served as chairwoman of the Louisiana Federation of Republican Women and is a member of the National Federation’s Americanism Committee and the National Federation of Republican Women Board of Directors. She discussed the history of Republican women’s clubs.

RWBR President Jane St. Amant spoke about the LFRW Convention scheduled for March 15-17 in New Iberia.

St. Joseph Cemetery Board names officers

The St. Joseph Cemetery Board has elected officers and board members for 2013: Jonnie Lu Kleinpeter, president; Chip Landry, vice president; Suzanne Clarke, secretary-treasurer; and Mac McCormick III, Anne Felice Fourrier and Elizabeth Dent, board members. The board oversees the care and maintenance of the cemetery located on Main Street.

McCormick and Dent will serve on the public relations committee, and Fourrier is serving on the improvements committee, which has toured the cemetery and identified several grave sites that will be refurbished. People with ancestors buried in the cemetery may contact St. Joseph Cathedral and leave a message for the sexton.

The spring clean-up day at the cemetery was March 16.

Advocate retirees hold annual luncheon

Advocate retirees held their annual luncheon Feb. 22 in Drusilla Seafood Restaurant’s Magnolia Room. Ted Castillo is the group’s founder.

Attendees shared memories of working for Capital City Press dating to 1950. When parades traveled Fourth Street, newsroom workers threw ticker tape from the third floor of the newspaper building, then located at 353 Florida St.

Sharing stories were Don Stewart, Mike Nola, David Norwood, Sara Lemon, Pat Tessier, Madelyn Carroll, Annabelle Armstrong, Jimmy French, Linda Lightfoot, Sam King and Castillo. Anne Price, 90, who has worked at the Advocate for more than 60 years, was among 26 people attending.

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