My family moved to Lafayette when I was seven years old and, in what seems in my memory to be a very short time, Beverly Latimer, Dot Mills, Marguerite Lyle ' my mom ' and others were busy stirring the pot that eventually produced the Lafayette Natural History Museum and Planetarium. Before there was a building, I recall summer afternoons spent participating in some sort of official/unofficial Natural History Museum activity in the shade of the garage of the Mills' River Road home.
Dot spearheaded the creation of the Children's Dance Guild at USL. As a mother of nine, Dot gave the enrollment of the program a boost with the participation of her daughters. Muriel Moreland ' a great dancer and educator ' headed the university's dance department in those days, so this was a very serious, somewhat academic pursuit. While some of us longed for glitzy costumes and dance recitals (we never had any), we were trained in modern dance technique, dancing rarely to recorded music, but rather to drumming. What an unusual opportunity! Classes met where space could be found ' the War Memorial Building, a classroom at St. Patrick's Church, a space at USL.
Dot was a university-degreed dancer herself and when we launched the Performing Arts Society of Acadiana (PASA) in 1989, Dot was so enthusiastic about our dance presentations. We shared many conversations about performances and the early pioneers of modern dance, many of whom she had known. What fun to talk to someone who had known Ted Shawn! In the not too distant past, she hoped to rally enough from her failing health to make one more trip to New York or to the modern dance mecca, Jacob's Pillow.
Even considering all of the dance expertise and enthusiasm that we've gathered in our community, there may be no one who knew more academically and artistically about dance than Dot. She loved the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey's signature piece "Revelations," performed to spirituals. PASA has presented the Ailey company twice and if this is the best gift that one could give Dot Mills, we are so happy to have added those events to the list of pleasures that brightened the glow in her heart.
Dot passed away at the end of January. PASA will miss her presence as we continue our pursuit of extraordinary dance. I will miss her, too. Dot, Beverly, my mom and those other mothers who juggled children, households and jobs as they created extraordinary community assets were great role models for us kids. Of all the gifts I have been given, it is certainly their vision and example that I treasure the most.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 16, 2014:
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
Chris Williams knows how to pilfer from the public coffers, this time with a back-pay lawsuit filed three years ago against the Lafayette Housing Authority, which netted the former city-parish councilman a cool five figures.
McAllister's office vowed that he intended to stay in office — for now. As for questions about whether he would stand for re-election in November, those were dodged.
The Green Army's Lafayette brigade has announced it will pay a visit Friday morning to Sen. Page Cortez to urge him to vote against Sen. Robert Adley's SB 553, which the group is calling the "Big Oil Bailout Bill of 2014."