This isn’t a book, it’s a friend. Naturalist Bill Fontenot has been writing a column for The Daily Advertiser for over 22 years now. Every Sunday, a folksy, stream of consciousness ramble in the paper describes what he sees, how he thinks and what he feels about the happenings in his back yard or out in the wide world. As Fontenot was getting ready to retire from the Acadiana Nature Center this summer, he began going back through his writings, over 1,300 columns, and began compiling the best of them into a collection called Watching a Forest Grow. At over 500 pages, this isn’t a quick read. It’s the kind of book you keep near your favorite chair, there to dip into when you need a green thought. And it’s full of all sorts of them, from the description of homesteading in rural St. Landry Parish with his bride Lydia, when they were in their 20s, to his trademark kek-kek-kek description of a bird call, in this case a king rail. Divided into months, it may well take you all the way around a calendar year. Fontenot will be selling and signing books Nov. 28 and 29, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at Visions Art Gallery, 3816 Congress; Dec. 12, 6-10 p.m. at Cypress City in Arnaudville; and Dec.13, 6-8 p.m. at Acadiana Center for the Arts. To order a copy, $37, send a check to 217 St. Fidelis St., Carencro, La. 70520. Call 896-9187 for more information. — Mary Tutwiler
What grew out of a weekly Sunday night gig at the Maple Leaf Bar in Uptown New Orleans is now an hour-long CD from three of New Orleans’ finest musicians. Over two summer nights, Joe Krown, Walter Wolfman Washington and Russell Batiste Jr. recorded Live at the Maple Leaf. With Krown on Hammond B-3 organ, Washington on guitar and vocals, and Batiste on drums, the trio takes on renditions of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” Bill Wither’s “Use Me,” Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “I Feel So Bad,” and Johnny Guitar Watson’s “You Can Stay But The Noise Got To Go,” as well as original numbers like Batiste’s “Maple Leaf Strutt” and “Sunday Night Crawfish,” and Krown’s “Under The Influence.” Live at the Maple Leaf will easily find a home in the heavy rotation of your personal musical library and retails for $15.99 at www.louisianamusicfactory.com. — R. Reese Fuller
GOOSEPIMPLY ALL OVER
Pink aluminum etched frames are cool to the touch. Not since Marilyn Monroe tried to marry a millionaire have glasses looked so coy. Obscuring the divide between intelligence and allure, these glasses are all wit. The feline curvature contrasts with the manufactured squares of your contemporaries. Replace with your own script to add a much needed sense of humor to the everyday and a curious layer to your countenance. These one-of-a-kind vintage glasses are available at Flip Flop in Jefferson Street Market for $75. Call 233-2589. — Angelle-Leigh Breaux
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.