Livingston Historical hears about blues man

Southeastern Louisiana University history professor William Robison spoke about blues musician Robert Johnson to the Edward Livingston Historical Association on June 19 at the Livingston Branch Library.

Johnson’s interest in music began in his early teens playing the Jew’s harp, harmonica and guitar. He married Virginia Harris in 1929 and became a traveling musician, signing a record deal in 1936. Johnson died in 1938 in Greenwood, Mississippi, and historical markers regarding various phases of his musical career are found through the state.

The release of Johnson’s music on CD in 1991 led to a blues revival.

Water features topic for Reflections meeting

Charbel Harb, owner and founder of Harb’s Oasis, spoke about simple water features for the yard to the Burden Horticulture Society’s Reflections in the Garden program on July 7.

He used PowerPoint to show water features he designed and installed, ranging from simple and economical to very elaborate. Harb’s Oasis sponsors an annual pond tour so Baton Rouge residents can see ponds with interesting water features. For more information, visit

Reflections in the Garden is a monthly lunch-and-learn program about horticulture and gardening sponsored by the Burden Horticulture Society. Dan Gill, an LSU AgCenter horticulture expert, will speak on fall planting season favorites at noon Monday, Aug. 4, at the LSU AgCenter Burden Conference Center, 4560 Essen Lane. For information about BHS, visit

Molina donates $1,000 to help Thrive Academy

Molina Medicaid Solutions of Louisiana has donated $1,000 to Thrive Academy in Baton Rouge. The donation was used to purchase items, including pots and pans for the kitchen, linens and sports equipment.

Molina employees recently held a school supply drive and dropped off the donated items to help students for the coming school year. Employees also re-painted school walls and sorted and re-shelved library books.

Thrive Academy is a public, tuition-free, charter boarding school for at-risk youth.

Thibodeaux addresses GBR Women’s Council

Dot Thibodeaux, director and co-founder of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, spoke to the Women’s Council of Greater Baton Rouge on July 10 at First United Methodist Church. She spoke about the challenges grandparents or other relatives face when raising children.

Member Jaimie Smith provided lunch. LaShara Walls spoke about using social media to promote Women’s Week and other activities. Teresa Taylor, Women’s Week chair, gave an update on activities. Charlene Ourso was introduced as a new board member.

BR Eye Bank is topic for Inter-Civic Council

Ginger Miller with the Baton Rouge Regional Eye Bank spoke to the Inter-Civic Council on July 8 at Hunan’s Restaurant. Miller described the process of harvesting eyes and encouraged people to consider donating their eyes. She also told about fundraisers that keep the eye bank in business.

Morris Welch with the LSU Kiwanis Club gave a slide presentation on the background and activities of Kiwanis clubs. Members discussed plans for the August social. Chairman Kathy Blackman gave an update on the Golden Deeds Banquet to be held on Nov. 11.

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Compiled by Advocate staff writer George Morris. The “Community” column runs every Tuesday and Friday in The Advocate. Items should be submitted to “Community,” Advocate eatplaylive section, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or emailed to Events should be submitted in a timely fashion. By submitting photos to The Advocate, you agree that they can be published in any of The Advocate’s print or digital publications.