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.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Ten departing CEOs rake in $430 million; profile of FSU gunman emerges; Buffalo's weather woes and more national and international news for Friday, November 21, 2014.
The Ethics Board gives the lame duck Youngsville mayor permission to offer a sweet parting gift to the community he’s presided over for three terms.
The money came through a general obligation bond sale Thursday.
A legend in the Acadiana Oil Patch, Comeaux died Monday, Nov. 17.
With a growing number of alleged sexual assault victims coming out against Bill Cosby in recent weeks, upcoming projects have been canned by NBC and Netflix, but that won’t affect the once-loved comedian and actor’s scheduled performance in Lafayette.
The Baltimore Ravens' retooled secondary had no trouble against a rookie quarterback at home. This week, however, their task is far more challenging: stopping Drew Brees on the road in New Orleans.
Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry's name to the list of possible Republican presidential candidates flooding the campaign trail for GOP Senate candidate Bill Cassidy.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Florida this week with his fellow Republican governors for another gripe session aimed at their favorite target, the president, this time taking aim at his immigration plans.
Early voting for the runoff is shortened by two days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Coach Don” Gagnard is running for school board. Today he offers his critique of the socioeconomic relationship between government subsidies and obesity.
Former Le Rosier chef who cooked at the James Beard House and was named one of the “Best New Chefs in America” by Food & Wine magazine in 1995 was 48.
Pat Cooper is contesting his termination by the LPSB, filing a petition Tuesday that calls the recent decision “arbitrary and capricious.”
A look at the numbers highlights the challenge facing Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu as she tries to win a fourth term in a Dec. 6 runoff against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising the new Republican majority will quickly resurrect Keystone XL pipeline legislation killed by Democrats, potentially setting up an early 2015 veto confrontation with President Barack Obama.
A national animal rights group has been rebuffed by a Baton Rouge district court judge, although the group might still get its day in court.
The administration says public college campuses won't be on the chopping block.
The legendary musician is performing at a $1,000-per-person fundraiser Dec. 1 in New Orleans.
Old savings and checking accounts, payroll checks, stocks and dividends, insurance proceeds, oil and gas royalty payments and other unclaimed money is sent to the state when a business cannot locate someone.