West Bank Spotlight: Sherman, the family pet _lowres

Photo provided by the Ory family - Sherman with 'Pawpaw' Wayne Ory

Most children ask their parents for a dog or cat as their pet, but Jeffrey Ory asked his father for a bird.

Jeffrey was in the fifth grade when his father, Wayne Ory, purchased 3-week-old Sherman, a cockatiel.

“A friend of the family raised cockatiels, and we went over to her house and picked out Sherman,” Jeffrey said.

“We already had two dogs when Sherman was purchased, but Jeff wanted a cockatiel bird,” Wayne Ory said.

Sherman was named after Col. Sherman Potter on the hit TV show “M*A*S*H*” He had two brothers name Hawkeye and BJ.

Jeffrey said they had several other pets, including rabbits, fish and hamsters, but Sherman has out lived them all.

Cockatiels are said to be sweet, personable, easy to care for, intelligent, fun and all around great family pets. They are great whistlers, and the males can learn how to talk.

They are good at imitating sounds and some have learned how to whistle entire songs.

Sherman would amaze visitors when he welcomed them in the Orys’ home by saying “good morning” to them.

Sherman also knows how to sing the Notre Dame/Holy Cross fight song, primary because Jeffrey and his brother, Jay Ory, attended Holy Cross High School. They even took Sherman to their pep rally and had him whistle the song.

“Pawpaw” Wayne Ory even taught Sherman to whistle the United States Marine Corps hymn.

As with many pet, parents usually have to take over as caregivers. When Jeffrey moved to his apartment, Sherman stayed behind.

He was reunited with Jeffrey after Hurricane Katrina. That’s when Sarah Francis, Jeffrey’s roommate Mark Francis’ mother, began to help out with Sherman.

“Sarah gave Sherman a lot of attention,” Jeffrey said. She took care of Sherman for four years until her death.

The approximate lifespan of cockatiel is 35 and Sherman is 29 years old, he said.

After-school film enrichment program

Algiers Charter School Association and Cool Cooperative will offer a six-year, after school film enrichment program for seventh to 12th grade students this fall. Cool’s focus is to empower students who are not “at risk” but “at promise.”

Training will help students secure a job in the booming Louisiana film industry, in addition to providing valuable skills for those who continue on to institutions of higher learning.

McDonogh 32 and Cool are seeking help from anyone who is interested in education, filmmaking and children.

Cool needs volunteers, tutors, mentors, film professionals and community leaders to participate in an exciting new initiative that will offer Algiers kids a chance at a very bright future.

The Cool Cooperative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

For information, call Danielle Trezek of McDonogh 32 at (504) 302-7144 or Dana Toups of Cool Cooperative at (504) 264-5403.

Free Senior Care Educational Workshop

St. Margaret’s Foundation and Belleville Assisted Living will host a free Senior Care Educational Workshop from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 14 at Belleville Assisted Living, 813 Pelican Ave., Algiers.

A panel of industry experts will cover some of the various long-term care options that are available — including independent living, assisted living, nursing, home care and hospice — and what each model involves.

Experts will talk about when it is necessary for seniors or their caregivers to seek additional assistance; how to determine the most appropriate living environment for the senior based on their specific needs; things to look for when choosing a long-term care provider; how insurance, Medicare and Medicaid factor into the various long-term care options; and more.

Light refreshments will be provided. The workshop is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Call (504) 362-7166 or email abergman@bellevilleno.org to register.

Yetoria Lumpkin DeShazier writes about the people and events in Algiers and the West Bank. Contact her at ydeshazier@gmail.com or call (504) 367-0905.