Hope you had a great Fourth of July!! The Capital City certainly celebrated in style.

Atop the Shaw

Once again, the LSU Museum of Art’s red, white and blue soirée atop the Shaw Center for the Arts provided the best view around to watch the Fireworks on the Mississippi, which was sponsored by The Advocate and WBRZ-TV. A large congenial crowd turned out for the fun fundraiser, which was co-sponsored by Tsunami. Even Mother Nature cooperated this year, holding off on the rain and scorching temps, and even providing a bit of a breeze.

I made a quick in and out, as husband Jim and I were celebrating the festivities with our friends Melanie and André Uzee, but I did enjoy visiting with Barbara Anne Eaton, Gail Gaiennie, James Fox-Smith, Dorcas Brown and Mayor Kip Holden and his charming wife, Lois, while I was there.

Independence Parade

The evening before, our neighborhood was the place to be as Kenilworth staged its annual Independence Day Parade. This year’s grand marshal was former LSU basketball great Collis Temple Jr., who was unfortunately called away at the very last minute by a family emergency. Lucky for us he has two sons who are equally, if not more, famous than he is and Collis III and Garrett stepped in for their dad to lead off the parade. Following in the convertible behind the brothers was Resident of the Year Max Scott and wife Charlene.

Parade chairman Paul Sicard forwarded me this year’s winning floats as determined by judges: Lt. Mary “Marston” McKeon, commanding officer of the LSU Air Force ROTC; David LaCerte, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs; and Duane LeBlanc, director of the Catholic High School Marching Band. They included Best Float, Kenilworth Swim Team; Best Group, Greenwell Springs Youth Riders; Best Individual, state Sen. Dan Claitor; Most Patriotic, Vietnam Veterans; Most Original, Baton Rouge Magnet High School Junior Classical League; Judges’ Choice, Tiger Train; and Best Fits Theme, Military Order of Purple Hearts.

‘Les Miserables’

Now, the summer musical at Theatre Baton Rouge doesn’t have anything to do with the Fourth of July, but the production set aside to benefit Volunteers in Public Schools did take place July 2, as everyone was gearing up for the big celebration. The festivities began with a silent auction and light refreshments in the community room at the theater an hour before curtain.

It was a sold-out crowd for what is a great performance by Theatre Baton Rouge. I got to visit with lots of friends — Bette Levin, Willie Johnson, Gay Mack, Coletta Barrett, Phyllis McLaurin and Jude Bourque and his cousin, who was visiting from California.

Richard fête

Former Baton Rouge educator Patricia Monget Richard was honored by the Prince George Country, Md., School System for her contributions to education there at a June 7 reception. Among those speaking at the celebration of this “World Renown Educator and Oral Historian” were Wendell Coleman, principal of Oxon Hill Middle School, Rita Scott Womack, retired Prince George’s County supervisor who was Monget-Richard’s supervising teacher when she did her student teaching at Capitol Middle School in Baton Rouge; husband Simon Richard; and children Xavier and Thea.

Since graduating from McKinley High School and Southern University, Monget Richard continued her studies at UCLA, LSU, the University of Colorado, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Santa Clara, Cal State Berkley, Cal State Hayward and Western Oregon in Monmouth. She has taught at the middle and high school levels in the U.S. as well as at the college level in Europe. Among her Baton Rouge students were Brandon Bass, two-time Olympic Gold medalist Seimone Augustus, Judge Don Johnson and Alvin Williams.

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