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The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
July 4, 1985     The Ponchatoula Times
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July 4, 1985

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" ,-A.,, .. ,;* " .. Thursday; July 4, 1985 ;4th Year. Number 40 THE PONC'HA TO ULA TIMES and get free home delivery See coupon- Page Two Making of aflag i Old Glory to fly Thursday By BRYAN T. McMAHON Editor & Publisher R story of Ponchatoula's Betsy s will be told and retold many a tirae over before this century's old. Already there are plans to save the they sewed for only the most special Occasions, so that it will last as one of the city s treasures. it is believed to be a few inches bigger than the next largest flagpole displayed ,American Flag in the world. There have 0een larger banners, such as the one Spended from the East Coast bridge QU,j the nation's Bicentennial, but none so large that were intended for a flagpole. _ The Ponchatoula flag measures over 50 feet across, over 30 feet on the side and drapes on a windless day 58 feet, rotor inches from top to the bottom r, and weighs close to 100 pounds. =,Jaycee Bruce Kinchen first approached e. dedicated seamstresses at a meeting 01their Thursday Night Bridge Club and told them of the Jaycees memorial PrOject to take down and convert a l"rowave tower into a flagpole and ect it where a huge American Flag will Seen flying from its heights for many along mile. _ , ed g, eM : U bv i ieembt  e M :SMr Es .V  Vn n BOUdreaux, and Mrs. Geraldine Wright rose to the challenge. With some support from family ll.?bers and friends, the ladies began ,. r task by visiting the Baton Rouge .rtson Motors car dealership where ,.city's largest flag flies, talking to the ,"J s owner, and to flag supply stores. One thing the ladies found out quickly is that a flag anywhere near the size of the one the Jaycees wanted would cost at least $5,000 and as much as $7,500 to buy from a flag company. The Ponchatoula seamstresses put down their cards, picked up their thimbles and set about producing a larger flag than any available from the stores, for a cost of about $700, from the special Swiss-made thread to the high grade all-weather flag material from the Valley Forge Flag Company. All the work was done on home sewing machines: two Singers, one Pfaff, and a Bernina. The first piece of cloth was cut the first week of August, 1984 and the last stitch was put in place three weeks ago. Each stripe is fixed in place with three stitches, which took an hour and a haft to sew. But the ladies were more than up to it. Mrs. Hebert brought 29 years sewing experience to the task, skill mirrored by that of her friends. Ronnie Perrin, who chaired" the Jaycee project, said that all who have seen the flag are so impressed that they want to fly it only on special occasions and holidays, in order to preserve it for many years to come. They say life expectancy for such a size flag is only about six months when it is flown continuously. Perrin said a slightly smaller commer- cially-made flag will be sought to fly on regular days from the landmark flagpole. And he has issued a call for the creation of a Minuteman organization to care for the flag, to raise it and lower it, a job requiring many hands. Those who wish to belong to this group should listen for Perrin's call for the group's organization during festivities Thursday. CITY OF PONCHATOULA PONCHATOULA, LOUI-SIANA Parish of Tangipahoa roclamation FOURTH OF JULY Now as never before it is essential that we help restore and maintain the e of the Fourth of July. This is our Nations birthday of liberty and from win', but because of the tempo of daily living, we often lose Sight of what this day should mean to us as citizens. of the City of Ponchatoula, representing the City Administration all its Citizens, I ask you to stand up and be proud that we are Americans should make it clearly known to all the world that our democracy will endure. and offer my sincere appreciation to the Ponchatoula Jaycees, President, Tim Chauff, and the Chairman of the Rag Committee, Ron errin, for their financial contribution and many hours of labor and planning. made this glorious day possible. I furthermore want to recognize the makers of this American flag, the largest flying American flag in the world 50Ft. 41n. by 30Ft. 4In., Ms. Evelyn T. Hebert, Ms. Ann T. Ms. Geraldine T. Wright and Ms. Virgie L. Sanders. City of Ponchatoula also wants to recognize and sincerely thank South Bell, represented by Mr. John Pasqua for this huge 177 foot flagpole. THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as your Mayor, urge all of our citizens to unite on the Fourth of July, 1985, as a l::sitive indication of our rededication to the recepts of our Great Nation. orator speak the 4TH ,-recogn|zed orator J. Terryl of Pensacola, Florida will be the speaker at Thursday's Fourth celebration in Ponchatoula, an so as to demand national ge. is past national Jaycee presi- a member of President Reagan's for Volunteerism. He has to groups across this country, speechs with patriotism as their nie Perrin, the Ponchatoula who has remrodded the flag and the celebration that Thursday's dedication of the monument, puts it simply: can speak " captivate the audience. Kids will leave knowing what America is all .about " Perrin said that he has asked the invited political leaders to keep their comments restricted to a simple welcome so that Bechtol can deliver the main address of the day. Sharing the platform with Bechtol and his Jaycee hosts will be Senators Mike Cross and Gerry Hinton, Representative Dennis Hebert, Education Superintendent Thomas Clausen, as well as local politicians. Bechtol will deliver his main speech at approximately 10:30 a.m. Thursday following what is billed by the Jaycees as a "Patriotic Pararto" from Kiwanis SEE PAGE TWO 7a.m. 9:30 a.m. 10 a.m. 10:30 " "11 a.m. 11 a.m. 11:15 Official July 4, 1985 program Lions Club Softball Tournament begins at Kiwanis Park. Church groups and oth,, organizations interested in playing should co ..act Lion Douglas O'Bannon at City Hall (386- :306). Patriotic Marching Parade The parade will start at Ki, anis Park, led by the Ponchatoula JaRs, and a,,ill end at the flagpole in front of the Co,try IV arket. Main street will be blocked off from Fift I . Street to Sixth Street. Dedication CeremOnies The American Legion will present the names of all veterans from the Ponchatoula area, to be placed in a permanent memorial capsule at the base of the flag. Nattonally-kown orator J.TerlBecol will give thekeyn address. His topic: Americanism. Seven Gun Salute- Leander Kinchen American Legion post 47 Flag Raising The moment everyone has been waiting for, the first public view of the largest pole displayed American Flag in the world. A time for singing patriotic songs. Family Parade Led by the Ponchatoula Jaycees, this parade will end at Kiwanis Park where the day's activities will continue. Noontime Dusk (About 8:15) Nightfall (About 9 p.m.) Ponchatoula Family Picnic Kiwanis Park wig be the setting for the picnic, with food offered by the city's civic organizations for modest prices - )ambalaya, lemonade, watermelon, hot dogs, etc. Lions Softball Tournament continues Games and Races Egg throws, sack races, scavenger hunt, bike races, games of skill and continuous softball action. Closing Ceremony A slide presentation on a giant screen at the flag- pole narrated by J. Terryl Bechtol. Jaycee-Kiwanis Fireworks The sky wilt explode with color thanks to Kiwanis and Jaycee club members, who will stage the city s largest fireworks display in history from launchers located inside Athletic Park. The show will be clearly visible from the flagpole. Donations are being sought by both clubs to help pay expenses. I III Ponchatoula l:,lans new complex By EDDIE PONDS Reporter The elderly and handicapped people who can take care of themselves will have a place to stay, according to Mrs. Audrey Gabriel, vice-chairman of the board of Westminster Place. "Construction of the 32 units Complex on South First and East Magnolia Streets is scheduled to begin in about two weeks and to be completed within seven mor'lths,".said Edward Rode o| Michael Holly and Associates. "The one-million-dollar project is be- ing funded through a loan from the Farmers Home Administration" said Mrs. Gabriel. The complex is run by Presbytery of South Louisiana under a board of directors called Westminster." Gabriel said, "Each apartment will be equipped with one bedroom, living room, dining room area, utility and enclosed patio, and security is our number one priority." Rode said, "The one story complex will have a community center, 1,000 square feet common area, mainte- nance area, and administration area. Each apartment will have a courtyard. "Each complex will have 686 square feet, concrete drive and walkway, a complete low chain link fence for secur- ity, and emergency calling system," he said. The complex was designed by Michael Holly and Associates, Ham- mond. The contractor for the project is Tangi Construction Company, Amite. "In addition to the community center, the complex will have a laundry and recreation area," said Gabriel. "It is open to anyone regardless of religion or race." She said, "The waiting list is long because they have been working on the complex since 1981. Tenants will be selected accordin, to the list, starting with number one." Anyone wanting to get on the waiting list, can call Audrey Gabriel. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for July 14 at 5 p.m. The public is invited. Proby Smith (leh), swears in Gary Stanga as newly elected President of The Ponchatoula Lions Club. The ceremony occured last Friday at The Blue Room. _ L I MY PONCHATOULA By OLE HARDHIDE The Alligator Well the big day is upon us and l can hardly wait until the morning of July 4th when the whole town turns out to hoist the flag on the new pole My Javcees set up in my courtyard. As you well know, neither me nor my father before me ever gave much space to politics in this column, (well, hardly ever). We have both nibbled on the behinds of the politicians when that needed to be done, of course. And human beings of any nationality are always a fair and tempting target because they have so far to go to attain reptile status. But let no one misunderstand this gentle chiding among family members in this ole USA, Ole Hardhide is a 100 percent American alligator! And if you look real close when Old Glory is raised Thursday you'll likely see a tear in this gator's eye. Know something else? While the flea-bag varmints of the world take all kinds of glee out of kicking America in the ribs, and while we are all forced to just lay there an d take the beating, there is this one little town in Louisiana called Ponchatoula that is thumbing its collective nose at America's enemies and is hoisting up the largest American Flag on the tallest flagpole anybody could find. I'm proud to be a citizen of Ponchatoula. I am proud to be an American. Enough seriousness for now. Does anybody know if its true that Dr. Ralph's insurance company hiked his rate when they heard there's a huge flagpole that's been added to the list of inanimate objects that have an alarming habit of leaping in front of the Mercedes? How about taking some time out July 4 to honor those citizens who through their own effort and sometimes at great financial cost to themselves demonstrate an awesome spirit of volunteerism? Take Ace Joey who by day works at the hardware. How many folks know that Joey uses his own vehicle, the new 4 x 4, Toyota, to clear police )ury ditches of weeds, empty beer bottles and such? So dedicated is this unpaid citizen that he even managed to get his shiny new four wheel drive stuck in a particularly messy ditch. Do you think tax money went to drag him out and fix the dings, and pick up the beer tab (a major expense borne by this volunteer)? Pshaw! And how about those regular workers who have to bear up under enormous and sometimes strange pressure from bizarre bosses. Take long- suffering Marie Wright, legal secretary to Lawyer Troyer. She started her job as a para-legal and has been so buffeted by the eccentricities of her globe trotting overlord that she is now said to be para-lyzed. In the "You Should Have Made That Sign Bigger And Brighter Depart- ment": What I want to know Mike and Pat Sweeney is one who owns the new generic drug business on East Hickory. Airline passengers flying overhead at night and looking down on the neon greeting beaming up from below think they're passing over the Town of Azar. I have the good sense to consult Dr. Ernst when ever I get a rumbly tummy from a chicken that won't die, let alone be digested. What I'm getting to is the doctor for humans, Dr. Stratton Kearns. ! don't mind if he plans to take up surgery in addition to his great family practice, l ust wish he hadn't purchased that foot long Bowie knife to get started (Keep practicing and you'll be able to lop off a cyst at 30 paces). I hear Six Pack is now coming out with ponies. Congratulations Tom and Janice Waterman on the christening (wanna bet it wasn't on the shores o| the Natalbany?). Hey Sammy Lynn Relan, the whiz of D.C. Reeves,  did next semester's fourth grade teacher sign up for karate at the Community) Center? (You don't look that tough, honey). Hardy told me he felt like Chevy Chase on his way to Wally World - without the fox in the ferrari. He just needs to develop his sense of humor and take as a joke the simple task of chaufferlng two mothers and their four children through the Smoky Mountains to the constant tune of Mtckey Mouse Christmas Carols. (You'll know he's over the experience when he takes off his Mousekateer ears). Do you know what's wrong with Sonny Wells? He talks too loud and way too fast. (When fellow laid-back country boy Lionel Barrett passes Sonny on SEE PAGE EIGHT