Author, artist Gaynell Bourgeois Moore featured in APL oral history series

Staff Report

Ascension Parish Library’s oral history interview with Gaynell Bourgeois Moore premieres May 4 on the Louisiana Digital Library. Forty-four years ago, the Ashland-Belle Helene plantation in Geismar was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Gaynell Bourgeois Moore

Visit louisianadigitallibrary.org/apl to listen as Moore, a native of St. Amant, discusses the complicated relationship between the growing chemical industry presence in Ascension and the desire to preserve the parish’s architectural history.

Moore is an author, painter, musician and one of the many voices of Ascension Parish whose memories and experiences contribute to the rich history of the parish. She spent two years as a tour guide at Ashland-Belle Helene and 15 years at Houmas House. She witnessed some resistance to the sale of Ashland-Belle Helene to Shell Chemical in 1992, and she testified on behalf of the owners of Houmas House when construction of a new chemical plant in St. James Parish was first proposed. She also saw how Sept. 11, 2001, impacted the tourism industry she held so near to her heart.

While Moore’s oral history interview primarily focuses on her stories of plantation tourism in south Louisiana, it pairs brilliantly with her book I Saved the Best for Last: The Amazing Journey of a True Cajun Lady.

Gold Safari Decorative Jar

Make your own unique jar with Ascension Parish Library.

Create a glass jar with a quirky twist - a metal lid topped with an eye-catching golden animal. On Monday, visit any Ascension Parish Library location to pick up one of these safari packets. Each contains an animal, gold paint, glue, a jar, and a brush. Once yours is complete, use it to hold cotton balls, Q-tips, or whatever you need to store.

Growing Up Girls

Help your daughter understand the physical and emotional changes she will experience as she goes through puberty. Ascension Parish Library will host Growing Up Girls: A Class for Preteen Girls at 9 a.m. May 6 at the library in Gonzales, in partnership with Our Lady of the Lake Ascension. This matter-of-fact and reassuring discussion about a normal part of growing up is designed for girls ages 9 to 11 and their parents or guardians. Space is limited. To register, call Our Lady of the Lake Ascension at (225) 621-2906.

Kawaii Drawing

Learn kawaii chibi at the Ascension Parish Library.

Flex your pencil and learn to make anything kawaii chibi. Chibi is Japanese for small, and kawaii means cute. The art style began when students started using faces and hearts in their writings – Hello Kitty is one of the most global kawaii icons. On Saturday, May 6, kids 6-8 years old will learn to draw cute characters, foods, and more as they explore this art form with comic artist and illustrator Becca Hillburn. The workshop starts at 10 a.m. at the library’s Dutchtown location. Call (225) 673-8699 to register.

Cozy Cat Café

Get ready to help a few furry friends socialize so they can find a forever home. Work on a cat-themed puzzle, make a toy to take home to your feline friend, or relax and read with one of the cats that’ll be here from Cara’s House. The Cozy Cat Café will be set up at 9 a.m. May 6 at the library in Galvez. Adoptions will be available but are not required to attend this event.