Ole Hardhide’s – Our Ponchatoula

By Ole Hardhide, the Alligator

Lads, did they not cry for mercy when you on the Ponchatoula Junior High Pirates slew the Hammond Jr. Tors 40-0? (good job!).

Amite clay master Joe Polotzola, formerly of Ponchatoula, should have his own museum like George Orr, the “Mad Potter of Biloxi,” whose creations share museum space with those of sexy Georgia O’Keefe. If you have not visited this gem, you will thank me when you do.

And while you are in the neighborhood, do not miss the Walter Anderson Museum. And bring your children. Please. For their sakes. I guess I just got the fever on Saturday when Ponchatoula hosted the 3rd annual Art & Wine Stroll. Excellent event, and very well-attended.

Do you want to avoid the chaotic scramble of I-55 after work when the factories and refineries let out for the day and all the workers jump on their separate mechanical horses and roar home to Sweet Mama (pulling into adjacent driveways from Ponchatoula to Kentwood, having just worked elbow-to-elbow for the past eight hours with their neighbors)?

And these modern horses don’t eat hay but guzzle highly-refined gasoline that does not sell cheap?

Anyway humans, how about setting aside November as your month of recovery?

I want you to step seriously back in time, to a simpler era when heroes walked the earth, when beer was beer and women were women, and men couldn’t be any better even if they tried.

The 6-week Louisiana Renaissance Festival on its own grounds near Hammond High School, 46468 River Road, starts on Saturday, November 4 and traditionally fills every weekend in that month, spilling over into December. And it is a hoot!

The festival is the ultimate getaway. Throw on a kilt and party like your ancestors partied. Forget forks! Just grab that turkey leg and have at it.

You know the leader of the Krewe of Erin, Queen Jane Hextall who married an Englishman (we call him King Phillip), will be in attendance. I cannot imagine Ben “Neptune” Taylor staying away. A true student of history is he. Ditto for Pat and Jovita Ferrell, the great artists. Amy Guilbeau  of Hammond Farmer’s Market jelly and jam fame would not miss it, and neither should you, in my opinion.

Polka Dots & Pearls is the theme of the ball being hosted Saturday in Mandeville at Maison Lafitte by the oh-so-fetching Mandy Milk Shakers all-female marching group, entertainment by Five Finger Discount (and hey, I don’t even get out much and I know about it, so shame on you!).

Bob Zabbia is going to have to turn himself in at the Ochsner Clinic. He by this time surely must have the successful mayor’s version of tennis elbow, call it ribbon cutting exhaustion, so many new businesses are opening in the Strawberry Capital.

Tangipahoa School Board President Mike Whitlow, whose Operation Barbecue Relief effort to help Florida recover from Hurricane Irma, outgrew the fleet of personal aircraft pressed into service to ferry food to the hungry when what corporate citizen stepped forward? Would you believe FedEx!

I do believe our local grillers have hit the big time in terms of generosity, sending 10,000 meals a day to the hungry in Key West.