You are the owner of this page.
A001 A001
Let The Good Times ROLL
MARDI GRAS SEASON KICKS OFF

"Throw rue something. Mister! shouted a man in the crowd this past weekend at the Golden Meadow Krewe of Dee Petite Parade.

The youngster, dressed in full costume, took a few beads in his hand and heaved them into the crowd toward the man.

Not satisfied with the reward he'd given to the energetic parade goer, he also reached to the bottom of his float picked up a football and a stuffed animal, hurling both toward the man, who happily received.

"There you go. Sir the little guy screamed — his smile noticable because of the minting front teeth.

The 2019 Mardi Gras season is officially under way locally with the first parade going off without a hitch - with overcast skies and warm, dry conditions allowing the children to give their best to locals in need of a parade on the warm, sunny Sunday afternoon.

Mardi Gras time is a time for unity and togetherness, according to Cut Off native Jessie Adams, who said she and her husband have been going to parades for more than 55 years.

"It's so nice to see people having fun and coming together. she said. 'There is not much of that in the world anymore. I sit out here and I see people - some friends and some family - laughing together, smiling together, having fun together. There is just not much of that in the world anymore. What little bits and pieces of that, we have to cherish and keep.

The Krewe of Das Petite Parade provided all of that and more.

With several floats and dozens of local kids at the controls, the throws were flowing freely with beads, stuffed Animals and several other items flying from the many floats.

One popular item was NFL themed and based on the New Orleans Saints' loss to the Loa Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.

It was a wrinkle that made Adams laugh.

I saw one kid throw a flag, she laughed T guess if we would have gotten one of those a few weeks ago. we might be having a Super Bowl themed parade today".

The Times is your home for wall-to-wall parade coverage this Mardi Gras season.

For a full-length Mardi Gras section, visit our 6-page C-section inserted into The Times.

Let the good times roll, my friends!


LOCAL LIVED HIS BEST LIFE FOR MORE THAN 100 YEARS

It was a sunny morning on February 7, 2019 when Melvin Hebert slipped away leaving behind a grieving family and community of friends. How does one describe the impact of a 101-year-old local icon? How do you take the measure of a man who had to adapt to phenomenal changes over a century of life? You ask the people who knew him.

Judging by the responses, Melvin was a kind, soft-spoken and gentle man with an infinite amount of compassion and patience. He had a job he loved as an educator for 35 years. He was put in a position to mold young minds, and the evidence of his powerful and positive imprint is in the testimonials of former students eager to voice their personal narratives.

"Mr. Melvin kept me in order," says Lance Stringer, one of those former students at Boudreaux Canal Elementary. Jimmy Burton was another. "Mr. Melvin was my principal at Oaklawn. He was one of the nicest people. One day I got

put out in the hallway of Mrs. LeBleu's English class. I was dyslexic and always in trouble. I wasn't a bad student, I was a struggling student. Back then they didn't know about dyslexia. Mr. Melvin came along and saw me sitting there. He told me to go sit in his office till the end of the period, then just go on to my next class." For Jimmy, that simple gesture became a long term memory. Melvin did not degrade or berate him, and Jimmy grew up to be a successful businessman. A good education for everybody was important to Melvin. You can sense how he passed that on to his students when Jimmy beams with pride as he boasts about his own child with a PhD in psychology.

Former student Bryan Leicher writes from Orange, California about his years at Oaklawn (1967-70). "Funny how, over time, you realize how certain people have been a positive influence on your life though you barely knew them but saw them daily. He's one of my most memorable teacher/principals. The older I am, the more I realize what a good witness he was."

Colleagues also fondly remember Melvin. Hayes Badeau, who taught all of Melvin's children, said "We called him Mr. Peepers" after a character in a television series played by actor Wally Cox. The plot of the series, which aired in the early 50s, revolves around the misadventures of a junior high school science teacher.

Rose Marceau was a supervisor for the school food services. Her job was to visit all the parish schools to oversee the lunch programs. Rose married J.B. Marceau who, like Melvin, was a native of Kaplan, Louisiana so they always had something to discuss besides the "lunch menu." Though the Marceaux's had to make a trip to Kaplan on the day of Melvin's wake, they hurried back so Rose could participate in a presentation by the Terrebonne Parish Retired Teacher's Association honoring Melvin's years of service as an educator. It was a career that started in a tiny school on Pecan Island in 1939 and ended when he retired as principal from Oaklawn Junior High School.

Sandra LaRose was principal at Bourg Elementary during it's 100th Anniversary in 2014. She was familiar with Melvin's grandson, Joshua Lottinger, a student of hers in her teaching days. During the school celebration she was delighted to pose for photos with Melvin who had been principal at Bourg Elementary from 1955-1960. Another significant photo from that day featured Melvin with 3 generations of Bourg students, his daughter, Jackie LeBoeuf, his grandson Joshua, and his great granddaughter, Lexi Lottinger.

Friends were important to Melvin, and he loved to socialize, but when Mae, his wife of 76 years became ill, he was her dedicated caregiver. Several months after she passed on Mother's Day 2006 Melvin popped in at Jack's Bar to see his granddaughter, Julie Whitney, who bartended there. He was 90 years old. That's when he met what would become his posse, a group of caring friends who looked out for him, who danced with him, who helped him celebrate his birthday every year with a legendary potluck bash.

Charles Sr. and Iva Lou Degate were part of Melvin's posse at Jack's. Speaking for the group, Iva Lou writes this memorial "Mr. Melvin, you were one special man in our lives. We will miss you, but all the special memories will be kept in mind and talked about." He may have been a centenarian, " but he lived like he was 30," said Jeanita Melancon. Niece, Brenda Johnson, remembers her lively Uncle Melvin as well. "When I was 7 we could hear Uncle Melvin's music from across the road on a Friday night. We'd knock on the door, and Uncle Melvin would grab me and start twirling me around. "Dance with me Brenda," he'd say "and I did till I think I was 10 years old."

Melvin's job was his passion. His friends were the people he loved to be around for company and laughter, for chatting and dancing, for a mutual caring and sharing. His faith in God was deep and eternal. And to his family, he was the sun around which they orbited. In turn, his 3 children, Judy, Andrus and Jackie were his raison d'etre.

Daughter Jackie LeBoeuf could rattle off a dozen Melvin aphorisms in a minute. Words to live by. Words that Melvin did live by. Uplifting words like "Tomorrow is another day." Words about manners, "Always say something nice to people." Profound words about life, "It's the dash between those numbers that's most important."

Grandson Jason Pitre remembers a tough time in his life when two of Melvin's maxims gave him comfort. "Never let anyone make you feel less than," and "You pick the tune you want to dance to."

GranddaughterJulie Pie Whitney "just wanted to spoil him." They shared such a special bond that she quit her job to help care for him. "Time goes and we go with it," was her favorite quote by Melvin. Not a public speaker by nature, Julie feels Melvin gave her the courage to speak at his funeral. "He never had an unkind word to say to anyone in front of your face or behind your back. Being with him till the end was important to me because he was the most honorable man I ever knew."

All these people, the family, the friends, the colleagues, the former students paint a picture of a man of almost mythical goodness, but the truth is Melvin Hebert was an anomaly. He was a truly decent man in a world that seems to place little value on decency anymore. He believed that each generation should improve upon the last. With that in mind, during the last week of his life, he dictated a single letter to his great granddaughter, Lexi Lottinger. She gave her permission to share a part of it. "I strongly believe in a good education. It determines where you will go in life. I love you my sweet child, and no matter what happens, I'll always be with you." He could only manage to sign it with a shaky X. Melvin's mark. Melvin Hebert has certainly left his mark on the people who lived in his world or even on the edge of it. It would be hyperbole to suggest that, at the moment of his death, the world stopped spinning, but the extermination of his bright light has certainly added to the darkness. It was a sunny morning on February 7, 2019 when Melvin Hebert slipped away leaving behind a grieving family and community of friends. How does one describe the impact of a 101-year-old local icon? How do you take the measure of a man who had to adapt to phenomenal changes over a century of life? You ask the people who knew him.

Judging by the responses, Melvin was a kind, soft-spoken and gentle man with an infinite amount of compassion and patience. He had a job he loved as an educator for 35 years. He was put in a position to mold young minds, and the evidence of his powerful and positive imprint is in the testimonials of former students eager to voice their personal narratives.

"Mr. Melvin kept me in order," says Lance Stringer, one of those former students at Boudreaux Canal Elementary. Jimmy Burton was another. "Mr. Melvin was my principal at Oaklawn. He was one of the nicest people. One day I got put out in the hallway of Mrs. LeBleu's English class. I was dyslexic and always in trouble. I wasn't a bad student, I was a struggling student. Back then they didn't know about dyslexia. Mr. Melvin came along and saw me sitting there. He told me to go sit in his office till the end of the period, then just go on to my next class." For Jimmy, that simple gesture became a long term memory. Melvin did not degrade or berate him, and Jimmy grew up to be a successful businessman. A good education for everybody was important to Melvin. You can sense how he passed that on to his students when Jimmy beams with pride as he boasts about his own child with a PhD in psychology.

Former student Bryan Leicher writes from Orange, California about his years at Oaklawn (1967-70). "Funny how, over time, you realize how certain people have been a positive influence on your life though you barely knew them but saw them daily. He's one of my most memorable teacher/principals. The older I am, the more I realize what a good witness he was."

Colleagues also fondly remember Melvin. Hayes Badeau, who taught all of Melvin's children, said "We called him Mr. Peepers" after a character in a television series played by actor Wally Cox. The plot of the series, which aired in the early 50s, revolves around the misadventures of a junior high school science teacher.

Rose Marceau was a supervisor for the school food services. Her job was to visit all the parish schools to oversee the lunch programs. Rose married J.B. Marceau who, like Melvin, was a native of Kaplan, Louisiana so they always had something to discuss besides the "lunch menu." Though the Marceaux's had to make a trip to Kaplan on the day of Melvin's wake, they hurried back so Rose could participate in a presentation by the Terrebonne Parish Retired Teacher's Association honoring Melvin's years of service as an educator. It was a career that started in a tiny school on Pecan Island in 1939 and ended when he retired as principal from Oaklawn Junior High School.

Sandra LaRose was principal at Bourg Elementary during it's 100th Anniversary in 2014. She was familiar with Melvin's grandson, Joshua Lottinger, a student of hers in her teaching days. During the school celebration she was delighted to pose for photos with Melvin who had been principal at Bourg Elementary from 1955-1960. Another significant photo from that day featured Melvin with 3 generations of Bourg students, his daughter, Jackie LeBoeuf, his grandson Joshua, and his great granddaughter, Lexi Lottinger.

Friends were important to Melvin, and he loved to socialize, but when Mae, his wife of 76 years became ill, he was her dedicated caregiver. Several months after she passed on Mother's Day 2006 Melvin popped in at Jack's Bar to see his granddaughter, Julie Whitney, who bartended there. He was 90 years old. That's when he met what would become his posse, a group of caring friends who looked out for him, who danced with him, who helped him celebrate his birthday every year with a legendary potluck bash.

Charles Sr. and Iva Lou Degate were part of Melvin's posse at Jack's. Speaking for the group, Iva Lou writes this memorial "Mr. Melvin, you were one special man in our lives. We will miss you, but all the special memories will be kept in mind and talked about." He may have been a centenarian, " but he lived like he was 30," said Jeanita Melancon. Niece, Brenda Johnson, remembers her lively Uncle Melvin as well. "When I was 7 we could hear Uncle Melvin's music from across the road on a Friday night. We'd knock on the door, and Uncle Melvin would grab me and start twirling me around. "Dance with me Brenda," he'd say "and I did till I think I was 10 years old."

Melvin's job was his passion. His friends were the people he loved to be around for company and laughter, for chatting and dancing, for a mutual caring and sharing. His faith in God was deep and eternal. And to his family, he was the sun around which they orbited. In turn, his 3 children, Judy, Andrus and Jackie were his raison d'etre.

Daughter Jackie LeBoeuf could rattle off a dozen Melvin aphorisms in a minute. Words to live by. Words that Melvin did live by. Uplifting words like "Tomorrow is another day." Words about manners, "Always say something nice to people." Profound words about life, "It's the dash between those numbers that's most important."

Grandson Jason Pitre remembers a tough time in his life when two of Melvin's maxims gave him comfort. "Never let anyone make you feel less than," and "You pick the tune you want to dance to."

GranddaughterJulie Pie Whitney "just wanted to spoil him." They shared such a special bond that she quit her job to help care for him. "Time goes and we go with it," was her favorite quote by Melvin. Not a public speaker by nature, Julie feels Melvin gave her the courage to speak at his funeral. "He never had an unkind word to say to anyone in front of your face or behind your back. Being with him till the end was important to me because he was the most honorable man I ever knew."

All these people, the family, the friends, the colleagues, the former students paint a picture of a man of almost mythical goodness, but the truth is Melvin Hebert was an anomaly. He was a truly decent man in a world that seems to place little value on decency anymore. He believed that each generation should improve upon the last. With that in mind, during the last week of his life, he dictated a single letter to his great granddaughter, Lexi Lottinger. She gave her permission to share a part of it. "I strongly believe in a good education. It determines where you will go in life. I love you my sweet child, and no matter what happens, I'll always be with you." He could only manage to sign it with a shaky X. Melvin's mark. Melvin Hebert has certainly left his mark on the people who lived in his world or even on the edge of it. It would be hyperbole to suggest that, at the moment of his death, the world stopped spinning, but the extermination of his bright light has certainly added to the darkness.


EAST HOUMA REC BOARD CHANGES

A plan to increase the number of members sitting on an east Houma recreation board, under consideration by the Terrebonne Parish Council this week, was expected to pass its first hurdle with few difficulties, sponsors of the measure said.

Terrebonne Recreation Board 3-A currently has five members, but Councilman John Navy has proposed increasing it to seven. The matter was taken up Monday night by the Council's Community Development Committee.

At issue, Navy said, is the geographical balance of the board. Currently there is one member from the Village East subdivision and there are four from Lafayette Woods.

"People in Village East are paying more taxes into the recreation district, but not getting the services and parks that those in Lafayette Woods," Navy explained.

Terrebonne's recreation boards oversee construction and maintenance of parks, gyms and similar amenities. They are authorized by statute to levy taxes to pay for those

venues and their upkeep.

The Council, whose members select the people who will sit on the boards, were recently given greater oversight of recreation district operations.

An independent organization, Rec Reform for Terrebonne, is currently seeking change in how the system operate overall, and wants a ballot initiative that will allow voters to mandate re-drawn districts, and a restructure of the millage rates which they say will make the process more equitable.

That plan does not, however, include most of the parish's bayou community districts, nor the one whose expansion is currently under consideration. Recreation boards that primarily serve central Houma and areas to its north are the subject of reform attention.

In District 3-A, which is not among those being considered for a revamp by voters, Navy said the stakes for residents are particularly high, and involve more than issues of whether fields can be dedicated to softball or football. The Village East neighborhood, he noted, is the place where five years ago a 14-year-old was shot and killed by a Terrebonne Parish deputy as he and some friends were gathered in an abandoned home that youngsters had dubbed a "clubhouse."

"One of the biggest issues and one of the biggest complaints after that shooting was that there were not enough positive things for the kids," Navy said, noting that recently he has been able to direct some parish money into after school and summer programs designed to keep kids safe.

"With idle time after school we can build some kind of positives in this community," Navy said. "I am trying to use recreation as a mechanism to deter crime and put kids in more positive directions. "I am trying to save lives."