Delta Dispatches: Panel Discussion with Filmmakers of Water/Ways

Welcome to Delta Dispatches with hosts, Jacques Hebert & Simone Maloz. On today's special episode, Jacques hosts a panel discussion with the filmmakers of Water/Ways. These four short films about communities facing land loss along Louisiana's imperiled coast.

Below is a transcript of this week's Delta Dispatches Podcast. Subscribe to our feed in iTunes and Google Play.

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Show Transcript

Jacques: Hello, you are listening to Delta Dispatches. We're discussing Louisiana's Coast its people, wildlife and jobs, and why restoring it matters. This is Jacques Herbert with Audubon Louisiana, and my partner in crime is joining me over the phone.

Simone: I'm on location today Jacques. It was actually just too nice outside to be in the studio.

Jacques: I don't blame you. I mean the fall weather has been glorious. It's well-deserved. We've waited for it. I know it's going to heat up a little bit this weekend, but apparently, it's going to cool down again next week. So I would be out with you Simone, if I could. We've had a busy-

Simone: You did get to go out. Yeah, you did get to go out this week. Don't you act you stayed in the studio, that you've been locked inside. You had a flyover this week.

Jacques: That's true. I know for both of us, it's been a busy on location week. But that's right, you know as we tend to do, we'll have coastal flyovers provided by our partners at South Wings. Emmet Bartholomew's the pilot and Meredith who we had on the show before.

So we flew out of your hometown, Houma Regional Airport. It was with our Audubon Louisiana staff. We had a lot of staff that haven't gone before, and they're great coastal advocates. We wanted to make sure that they could get up and see it, and so it was actually a beautiful clear day. We flew out. We flew south through Terrebonne, looking at areas, some of the ridges that are remaining, some of the communities around Pointe-aux-Chenes before returning and seeing Port Fourchon and the Caminada Headland and a lot of the barrier island restoration that's been completed.

Then we came back and hugged the Mississippi River and looked at some of the areas that are gaining land as a result of river input. And I have to say, I've done this flight so many times, but when you make that turn on the river, and you're in Plaquemines Parish, and you look north, and you just see New Orleans in the distance. It's such a striking visual that New Orleans is a coastal city, and we're not by any means removed from the issues that are happening on our coast.

The people that were on the flight with me, I mean it was their first time up, and they were just taken aback. They were breathless, and they were just kind of like, "Wow, I totally get it. I understand now why this is so important."

Simone: Yeah I saw that you were talking about it on social media, and I saw Chuck Perrodin from the state, from CPRA replied. He's so right. Until you see it at that perspective, and still however many times you see it, it's still really amazing, the size and the scale of the challenges that we have. But then through this we can also experience the opportunities that we have. You can see the restored barrier islands. You can see the work being done, and it just gives you a new energy to do that.

Well, Jacques, you know Houma is where the heart is. Don't forget that.

Jacques: I know. You know it's so funny. I mean obviously, my grandfather and his family was all from Houma, and I remember going there for holidays, and we'd always have our chicken and sausage gumbo with a nice heaping of potato salad on top.

Simone: In the gumbo. Yes. In the gumbo.

Jacques: After the flyovers … Yes. We got to go to … Is it Bilello's in Houma?

Simone: Uh-huh. Yeah, the downtown café. That's right.

Jacques: Yeah, I got my chicken and sausage gumbo and my potato salad on top. So my grandfather was definitely in my thoughts all day.

Simone: He would have been proud for sure. My dad still has an office in downtown Houma. It's so beautiful and quaint. We'll have a whole Houma show another day.

Jacques: We should do … Well you know it is the Rougarou Fest this weekend, so-

Simone: Absolutely. Yes. Actually Restore or Retreat's going to be out there.

Jacques: Awesome.

Simone: It is a huge Halloween … Really Jonathan Foray with the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center, he's a really great guy. But they have just turned that fest into … It's amazing. And it's so appropriate. It's Halloween. It strikes all the right tones, and stuff.

But because it's South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center, he offers opportunities to organizations like Restore or Retreat to come out and have some information so we can help spread the coastal word.

Unfortunately, people in Houma know land loss. They definitely know a lot about it, but we also want to keep it in the top of everybody's mind too. But also, not just the challenges, but the opportunities and some of the cool things that we're working on.

Jacques: That's awesome. So is that Saturday and Sunday? Is it in downtown Houma?

Simone: Yeah. It is this weekend. I think it's Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, I hope it doesn't rain on them, but they have a parade, which is just … They pull out all of the stops. They work on it all year.

If you, when you were little Jacques, you might have remembered that they had some very cool church festivals in our area, and one of the famous food items from one of those festivals is pop rouge ice cream. So they serve pop rouge ice cream at Rougarou Fest, and they have all kinds of vendors.

And you'll see Victoria Sagrera our Special Projects Coordinator. She'll be out there manning the ROR table.

Jacques: Well that is awesome. So definitely head out this weekend if you can and support that event. We'd love to have them on the show at some point and talk more about it.

Simone: Yeah, yeah. Jonathan does great work.

Jacques: That's awesome. Simone I know you've been really busy with a bunch of really important meetings. So tell us a little bit about the CPRA board meeting. It was in Belle Chasse yesterday. Right.

Simone: It was in Belle Chasse. We'll kind of work backwards in our week. We had a really eventful week, and I guess if we weren't having eventful weeks, we probably wouldn't have jobs. Right? So yesterday CPRA was in Belle Chasse. They're always a very welcoming host. We talked about all kinds of different items. They gave a diversions update. Brad and Rudy, who we had on the show before, gave a little update on some of the presentations.

They're still doing their Coastal Connections, and so we want to be able to keep spreading the word about the times where CPRA goes into those communities and has an open house forum where they can talk about diversions and answer any questions.

They also talked about GOMESA. Unfortunately, the state received word, it's a topic we've talked about a lot on the show, but the state received word from the federal government that GOMESA was not going to be what we originally projected. In fact, it's going to be about half of what we first though it would be. And that's directly tied to oil and gas production and other formulas.

So that means less all around. Right? Less cash for projects, less possibly infrastructure projects. So the state's going to really have to reorganize some of their priorities. Some of our work on the finance report is trying to help them do that, manage their cash leverage and also maximize that, so we can continue to build all the projects that we know need to be on the ground. We don't want something as silly as money to get in the way.

But they also had some great other presentations. John Troutman from CPRA gave a regional update on several very important CPRA projects and CWPPRA projects. I want to encourage everyone again to sign up for CPRA's email. They gave a really in depth summary of the meeting yesterday.

And even if you can't make it, you can watch on Facebook Live. A lot of times folks can't make it, but they do try to broadcast those monthly meetings on Facebook Live.

Jacques: Yeah absolutely. CPRA sends out such great weekly newsletters on Fridays. We've talked about it on the show, so definitely worth subscribing to their newsletter, following them, liking them on Facebook.

And you're absolutely right Simone. I mean they have been in the community so much, going to bait shops and marinas multiple times a month, talking about these projects on the ground with the people who are most impacted by them. So it's great to see that that work has been highlighted.

On the GOMESA side, it is unfortunate news. There's been some news coverage of it, but again, another reminder of why we need to protect what funding we have coming our way, and then continue to look for additional streams and do more with what we have through bonding and other means. So we're excited to hear, kind of the analysis that comes out your efforts with Restore or Retreat and continue to follow that story.

I know you had another meeting earlier in the week with some really important people. Tell us about that.

Simone: Yeah, some important people, but also some of our favorite people. Congressman Garret Graves even jumped into the GOMESA conversation. He of course, was an important part of Louisiana's Coastal Program when he was chair. He understands the issue better than most, and he even had kind of a reply or something to say on GOMESA too.

He was at the Bayou Industrial Group, which is an industrial group, obviously, in Thibodaux on Monday. He talked a little bit about coastal, then talked about his other work there. So it's always really great to see Garrett. Victoria was there at that meeting.

Then on Tuesday, I was so grateful to see our leader and a friend to Restore or Retreat, Steve Scalise spoke at the South Central Industrial Group, which is one of our favorite organizations based out of Houma. He was there to make one of his first appearances in the district since he was shot this summer.

And I was very grateful to see him. He was inspiring as always, talking about what he had been through and how it didn't bring him down. It actually, he's more energized more than ever. He looked great. And I was also the guest-

Jacques: That's great Simone, and you know, I don't mean to cut you off. But we're about to go on a break. You know our thoughts are with him, and so glad on his recovery. We're going to be playing a recording for the New Orleans Film Festival, and then we'll be back in the fourth segment.

Simone: Yep. We'll talk to you at the end of the show. Thanks Jacques.

Jacques: Yep. Bye Simone.

Jacques: My name is Jacques Herbert. I work as Communications Director with Audubon Louisiana. We're part of a coalition of organizations called Restore the Mississippi River Delta. That includes Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

We're here all working on advancing coastal restoration here in Louisiana. I'm also the cohost of Delta Dispatches, which is a weekly radio show that airs on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans, and it's also podcast. So this conversation will be a part of that podcast.

I want to go to John for a second. John you partner with Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and kind of help oversee this water ways project in working with the filmmakers in tackling the issue of coastal land loss and how we're confronting it. Obviously, it's a huge topic. It's reported on here nationally. How did you begin to parse out the stories that would represent what is happening here in Louisiana in working with the filmmakers?

John: In the whole process actually, the filmmakers came to us with stories already in mind. As far as that, Brian Boyles and Chris Robert with Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities asked filmmakers to pitch story ideas with the idea of trying to make a film that focuses around the coastal master plan, some kind of engineering feat that's being used in order to implement it. Then the dilemmas that it puts communities in.

Anyway, they went through, and they had a pretty good idea of people that they wanted to work with. I think the criteria was like for instance, Kevin's probably worked on this issue more than anybody else has from a film point of view. Katie's been working with Novac on several of these mini docs about coastal issues and land loss and about people that are being affected by it.

Then Kira has already been working on Station 15 with this group here. So as far like it was just that's how we came up with these story ideas. So it's in large part the filmmakers that you see here.

Jacques: Awesome. I want to talk a little bit about kind of the Station 15 film and Kira and Sophie and others feel free to chime in. From what I understand, you took on this topic prior to the August 5th floods, and that was already your established subject for the film.

Can you talk a little bit about the perspective, and of course, Chastity, if you want to chime in. But how did you choose to tackle the issue of water management and pumping from the perspective that you did? What effect do you think that had on conveying the message of the film?

Kira: I think that was a multi-part question. I chose the topic of pump stations because I was working closely with Aaron Chang and Claire Anderson who founded an environmental educational initiative called Ripple Effect in the City.

So we had been talking about how we could communicate about this place in a way that kids could relate to and feel like they could … How to get kids to imagine how to partake in the future of the infrastructure basically, of the city.

It's not purely intellectual. I didn't want to make it intellectual totally. I mean I don't actually think there's a separation between the intellect and the emotional on some level. So what we were trying to do is bring together these ideas and with the emotional underpinning of a young person, Chastity, for whom it is actually really relevant and meaningful that she understand these topics and be able to play a role in the city as it becomes … It's going to become more and more necessary that … I don't know Aaron, do you want to speak to this? No? Or Sophie?

Sophie: Yeah, I was just going to say that I feel like I'm about to quote Aaron because I've listened to so many hours of footage. Sorry. I felt a little bit bashful, and I was like maybe I should just let Aaron speak for himself.

But as we are unable to use fossil fuels at the rate at which we have been using them, we're going to have to make choices about where funding is going to go, and it's not a … Pump stations as we use them now, are not sustainable.

How are we going to begin to have a conversation about other ways of living with water and managing water, and how can we bring young people into that conversation.

Jacques: Katie, so your film shows such a deep and spiritual connection that one family has to a particular place and land. Tell us a little bit about that family, and how you kind of portrayed that connection in your film.

Katie: Yeah, I wish they were still here. They just left to drive back to Dulac because it's about two hours in the dark.

Jacques: That's a long drive. Yeah.

Katie: The Soleil family, I was fortunate enough to meet at a Dulac Community Library talk about the mounds, and they introduced themselves and asked if I wanted to come and see the mound next to their property. The whole experience of first coming onto their property with them was so unbelievably special to both feel what it's like there and how peaceful it is, but also to see their devotion to this piece of land and their connection to it.

So I always wanted it to be something that portrayed how I first encountered them, which was this really intimate space, very like from one person's perspective. I didn't want any drone shots in the film, even though it's really hard to show the coast and what's happening and mounds and earthworks without getting an angle.

But I really wanted to make the viewer feel more of that intimate connection to this place, to this special piece of land, and to this family and their relationships with one another and the land. So the cinematographer and I made choices based on that desire.

Jacques: And it almost came out in kind of the communal, the Boyles, kind of in the kitchen and that sort of thing. You could really kind of see that connection.

Kevin so you've done a number of films including your more recent one, Finding Common Ground that tackles some of these issues. Tell us a little bit about your subject, Windell Curole and kind of why you chose to focus on him. Then if there are lessons from what he's experienced in Lafourche that are applied elsewhere across the state.

Kevin: Okay well, first of all it was a waterway, Bayou Lafourche except probably for the port of New Orleans, Bayou Lafourche is one of the big economic engines of Louisiana. As we kind of pointed out with Port Fourchon and the oil business, then the boat building business. Jerry does pretty well with Gucci and Hernez and the rest of them.

Wendell and all of them in the film obviously were born on the bayou and stay there much like we see with families in Louisiana all over the place. But Wendell has been doing this for over 30 years, and he's the most successful flood manager, I guess you'd say. And one of the smartest guys I know, and a real renaissance guy, has a band and does what he does.

Henri Boulet also, both of them were here. They also had a long drive. But anyway, Henri was in Houston this morning working and touting Louisiana One and all, and he was here tonight and all.

Wendell's a really, really interesting guy. He's all over the place. He's very well respected, and he comes from a sensibility as you heard, talking about how people survive and get by when there's storms. And his responsibility is to keep their houses dry, as he said.

He's got all kinds of science. He can speak science. He can speak French, Cajun French, and he speaks the language of the people. So that to me, is one of the big tools that he uses along with all the engineering tools they use. That's why the community, I think, responds, and he energizes the community. They work together to protect themselves and to be resilient. You know? They have migrated up the coast.

Jacques: I felt that kind of when he was speaking about his family and each generation it was just a few more miles further up from the coast was just such a powerful reality that many families in Coastal Louisiana have experienced.

If anyone from the audience has questions, we want to open it up so you can ask questions of the filmmakers or any of the people here. Feel free to just come up, and you can use my mic.

Audience Member: It's obvious from these four very different films hitting on the same subject that there're a lot of different ways to come at it. My question is are any of you girding up to do it again, to go back to this subject, to return to the well and come at it from a different way?

Jacques: That was actually one of my questions, which was what's your next film. And you many not want to share it, but did this inspire any other kind of topics or people or places that you want to feature in an upcoming film?

John: I don't know if I'm speaking for the other filmmakers, but one of the things that you discover whenever you start to look at these issues, that there's hundreds and hundreds of stories. I mean every time you go down there and talk to anybody, you realize that everybody you talk to, there's another angle, another person's story that you could tell as far as like when it comes to this issue.

So yeah, I don't have anything specifically lined up yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll be back at it pretty soon. Yeah.

Kira: This piece is part of a series that I've been working on with New Orleans Video Access Center and Darcy McKinnon called Post-Coastal about how coastal communities move forward after realizing that their land and home is in crisis.

So we have more films in the series and more that are currently in production. And our hope is to be able to put out the call to other local filmmakers to be able to continue to tell these stories, but in their own way.

Jacques: Where can people go if they want to stay up-to-date on those films and/or get involved?

Kira: A website that's currently under construction, but just follow Novac Video, either on Facebook, Instagram, or go to novacvideo.org.

Jacques: Great. And Kevin we were talking earlier. Right? From your perspective, you don't want to film anywhere else because there's so much here in Louisiana that you could still get and so many stories to tell.

Kevin: Right. Although I'm always about trying to contextualize, so it's interesting. But yeah, Louisiana to me is just one of the richest cultural landscapes and there are thousands of stories of course.

The recent feature documentary we did with the crew who is here and Dr. Bob Thomas, who I collaborate with quite a bit is focused on the diversions and dredging, but it's about how we communicate about the coast, and how people interact, and how many different stories everyone's telling each other. There's no right answers, and that kind of exploration. Extremely, extremely complicated material, but another way to look at that story.

That is scheduled to go back onto TV. We premiered it on LPB at Earth Day Weekend, and it'll be on WLAE the Friday after Thanksgiving and the Sunday. And it's also on Vimeo. That's one thing. And then yes, I keep going back to Louisiana culture, to culinary culture etc., music, but Dr. Bob and I have a suite of films to tell this story in a different way, connecting the fishermen in the marsh and telling it from their angle.

Katie: I'm in the early processes of collaborating with Aaron and Claire to develop media that will be counterpart to water curriculum in Louisiana. So I feel pretty committed to figuring out how to communicate to young people in a way that conveys emotional political urgency as well as communicating science facts. I think everyone here will in some way be part of that. Yeah.

Jacques: Yeah we talk a lot about that, coastal literacy. And for people who may have grown up in New Orleans or maybe other parts of Southeastern Louisiana, you may not know really kind of the forces of nature that are impacting you, unless there is some major event like Katrina or otherwise. That's so important.

Speaking of major events, going back to the August 5th flood. You were in production, post-production, when that happened. How at all did that effect the film and kind of the decisions you made? Can you talk a little bit about that? I mean it was kind of an unexpected event.

Kira: Sure, yeah. I mean it completely restructured the story. The story starts out with that flooding, and I think it dramatizes the problem. Yeah, so in a way, for storytelling, it was a gift, even though it was a terrible thing to happen because it dramatizes something that we tend not to think about in our day-to-day lives. You drive by a pump station. I didn't know what a pump station was for many years that I lived here. Yeah, so it was a good route into why this matters, and why it's so urgent to think about. Sophie you wanna …

Sophie: Denise Reed has a line where she says, "They have the same problem in Texas. They have the same problem in Miami." And she said that line before either of the events that took place in those areas took place.

And it felt every time I watched a new cut and another one of those areas had gone down, it's just like devastating and kept reminding us, I think as we were going, that there are a number of people who have been paying close attention to this, and there's no reason why they should be the only ones who know this is coming for all these towns.

Jacques: Yeah, and I thought that scene with Denise was just so powerful. Right? We don't want these events to happen to be able to address these issues. We need to address them before. We only have a few more minutes, so if anyone else from the audience wants to ask a question.

Julia: Thank you. My name is Julia, and I'm going to stand here. John, echoing the point that was made about the women … Thank you so much Chastity, sorry it's late. But how did you find Albertine? She was wonderful.

John: Well she's here right now. Yeah.

Julia: You are amazing. So beautiful. Thank you so much for your poetry. It really resonates. So that's one question, how did y'all find each other. Then the second one was as a panel of creators, thinking about the perspective of that insect that we saw in two different films or the tree. How can we imagine not … Because I found like what about the species and like walking on the levee every morning and every afternoon, I'm always like, what about these species. Yeah.

John: Albertine as far as like … So the guy at the beginning of the film that kind of introduces the film is Richie Blink who's also here. I've known Richie for a while, so Richie's been a great resource when it comes to, well first of all understanding what's going on as far as in coastal Louisiana and understanding the complexity. He has a gift of being able to explain in a way that almost anybody can understand as far as like what are the issues that are really driving this problem with erosion.

But also another thing that's great about Richie is that he also seems to know everybody in South Louisiana too. So when I was talking to Richie about different story ideas, he brought up Albertine Gimble twice.

So what's really interesting about Albertine is that she's a lifelong resident of Plaquemines Parish. She worked in Parish government for years. So as far as throughout the whole Katrina and through I mean pretty much everything that they went through. And she's recently retired, but you know the thing is that she's dedicated to still living outside the levee system on the east bank of Plaquemines Parish.

You know you see her house. She has this vast knowledge as far as like of what's going on and can explain to us as far as like why we need sediment diversions. But also another thing, the reason I'm bringing up the house is because I think that it's also an example of exactly what happens when you don't have those systems to protect you.

So I think that she lives the life that explains why we need to do more to protect south Louisiana. Yeah, I don't know. We went out, and we met her, and she was great. She was a great interview. She made really great ice tea. Yeah, she's a fun person to be around.

Jacques: I guess one last question. Obviously there's a lot of coverage of kind of Louisiana's coastal land loss crisis. Whenever there's an event it increases, even at the national level. If you had to make a pitch to someone, you know these films are going to go around the state and be shown to different audiences. If you had to make a pitch to someone whether that person were in northern Louisiana or New York, as to why these issues are important, and why they should care. What would you say?

Kira: Louisiana's the canary in the coal mine. You know what's happening on the coast is going to be happening on every coast, is happening on every coast, and is going to be affecting hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people in a shorter time span than we can even imagine. So that's why I would say it's important.

Audience Member: I would say that if you open up a map, the Mississippi River is the spine of the United States, and between the Rockies and the Appalachian Mountains, almost all of the major rivers flow into the Mississippi. If you are in Minnesota or Colorado or Kentucky or wherever, if you throw a stick in the water, eventually it's going to float past New Orleans down into that great basin of Louisiana.

And from an economic standpoint, although we think of transportation in terms of automobiles and airplanes, for the majority of the life of this country, waterways was the major form of international and national transportation. And New Orleans and Louisiana was critical to that development.

John: I want to approach that same question from a slightly different angle, probably not one that you intended. And also, I'm not one of the filmmakers, so this might come off as rude.

Kira: You're an associate producer.

John: Oh sorry. So I think what I would say is to Chastity who's a poet. I'm sure there are a number of artists working in different realms here, that we think about the issues we have. Coastal Master plan is what 50-60 billion dollars. It's not really funded. Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan is a six billion dollar plan. That's also not funded.

So I think there's a real gap in what our clearly stated needs are and our willingness as a society to actually make up that gap and to work towards. The science is there, and we're not culturally there yet. So what I would suggest is that … I would say young people, these films are great but the cultural production in our society hasn't caught up to the actual needs.

And if we can't connect at the emotional level the way Kira's talking about, I'm not sure how else we're actually going to get there because the science alone isn't going to do it.

Audience Member: Yeah, I'd like to add that I think these films are really important for my generation to know just because, I'm like 18 and in about a decade people in my generation will be actually dealing with these problems like Kilamo said. And just being aware of the policies and all of the politics that goes in behind funding like the drainage systems or restoring the coast.

I think helping young people get the awareness to at least instill this knowledge into their minds is very important. Yeah.

Jacques: Great, not to speak for John and Brian, but it seems like one of the goals of these films was really to start that dialogue, kind of spur a conversation around these issues that can be continued. So hopefully, we can find some of those solutions.

John: Absolutely, to get it out into the public mind. And this idea that to do nothing is not really an option now.

Jacques: Well thanks again to our filmmakers and to all the people who are featured in the films.

Jacques: Yeah. Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, thank you so much, and again you can listen to this episode of Delta Dispatches on deltadispatches.org and WGSO 990 AM. Thanks for sticking around and have a great night.

Well that was fun. So you were listening to a recording of a panel we had last night as part of the New Orleans Film Festival sponsored by Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, their film series called Waterways, which is looking at different coastal issues and issues around communities in our state.

So welcome back Simone. You know it was an interesting conversation. The films are definitely very engaging, and I think part of the goal there, as I was mentioning in the panel is that, they're trying to reach people at a very emotional level, highlight people on the ground as a way to kind of spur conversation and inspire action.

We obviously know that the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority has done so much work both on the ground and in terms of getting projects constructed. There's also substantial funding that's coming through to get these projects done. These films help people who may not otherwise be paying attention, kind of sit up and say, "Hey, this is something I should be paying attention to."

Simone: Yeah, I loved it when somebody said, you know there are just hundreds of stories to tell. And also that it's so rich in culture, and that is a story that we have to tell. And we have to help tell, and some people are attracted to the science of what we're doing. But some people are also really attracted to the human stories that we're telling too.

So really great job on the panel last night. I'm sorry, that was well past my bedtime, but it's so interesting. You and I do this every day. Right? And so it's always really great, just like the flyovers, to look at it through a different lens and to be reminded of maybe something we forgot about or to think about it in a different way. What a great way to kind of showcase different aspects of our coast.

Jacques: Absolutely, and again, thanks to our partners at Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities for that. And we certainly missed you. A lot of your friends were there Simone, and they expressed that they were missing you too.

Simone: Yeah, they don't have a bedtime like I do.

Jacques: Well I'm paying for it today because I've been tired all day. Well we only have a few minutes left, but I do want to highlight some upcoming events including a rendezvous that Restore or Retreat is doing. Is that correct?

Simone: Yeah, so we do one fundraiser every year in kind of a big way. We call it our Rendezvous. We're having it next Thursday, October 26. We're having it down the bayou, well up the bayou, depends on where you're coming from. We're having it in Thibodaux. They built a really beautiful new facility there, Thibodaux Regional, the hospital. It's called The Wellness Center, but they've made it available to groups just like Restore or Retreat.

Our theme this year is Coastal Wellness. We're really looking forward to it. It's really just kind of our fun way of doing something. We do business workshops and other things, but this is the one fun night of the year. So we're really looking forward to that.

Jacques: I love it. And hey, you get to hang out with Simone, so that's gotta be fun. Where can people go to get their tickets?

Simone: Yeah right. It's past her bedtime. Simone's out past her bedtime.

Jacques: I know. Where can people go to see Simone out past her bedtime and get tickets?

Simone: Yeah, for sure, check out our website. It's restoreorretreat.org, and there's a button right on front you can click to find out reservations, sponsorship, and all that great information. We're looking forward to … We have the Cajun Music Preservation Society, which is a really great group of musicians that play just traditional Cajun music, and we love it. So we have some great food. We have some cold drinks, some spirits, and some fun things like that. So yeah, thanks for mentioning it.

Jacques: Awesome. Then of course, New Orleans is continuing its mayoral race. Right? So it's going to be a historic-

Simone: Yeah, now it's the heat of it.

Jacques: Yeah, historic race. We're going to have our first female mayor. But the issues are still here and important. So our partners at Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana are having a continuation of their mayoral forum. It's on the 25th at 7:30 PM at NOCCA in New Orleans, and it's going to be on flood risk and talking about storm management, water management, all of those things.

Simone: How cool that we've gotten to a point where this is a topic, when people run, that they know that they need to know. Right? They need to know coastal issues and flood risks and management. So it's very cool.

Jacques: Absolutely. Well, we're almost about out of time, but this was kind of a fun experimental show. We'll have to more live events and record them.

Simone: I love it. Yes, definitely. And we are so grateful to have Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities on two shows in a row. That's a repeat. Right?

Jacques: Right.

Simone: So that ranks high in our book.

Jacques: Next week, we'll probably be back in the studios, but that's it. Have a great night. Thank you for listening to Delta Dispatches.