The North Shore Beach Comber
October 2001
President John Lopez, 1St Vice President Tommy Raymond
2nd Vice President Dick Pearsall, Secretary Dennis Strecker
North Shore Beach Association, P.O. Box 1187 Slidell, LA 70459

July 13 Our Flaming Celebration in the Oaks

You’re welcome!

Many of you thanked us and commented on the great party we had for our "4th of July". It was a good party. It was a bit stressful for the board. Last year for our summer meeting we planned a BBQ in our big pit, but then it rained hard and long, so we did without the BBQ. We were afraid of a repeat. Just before I left the house I checked the weather and a large red radar blob was moving directly on us. So I told Dick and Tommy to get the pit fired up ASAP. We had never used the pit and we immediately realized that the main pit the bottom was rusting out. So we used the small side of the pit and loaded it with charcoal. The rain held off, but the pit could have been used by a blacksmith to wield iron. Dick Tommy and Dennis were flipping burgers, hot dogs and chicken as fast as they could. After a steady 45 minutes of intense 9000 flaming broil (alternating with hosing the pit down), it was all done. Next time I may call some of who have offered to help out…or just show up for the next meeting a half hour early and pitch in. Lots of people of course helped once they arrived. The food was done and everyone had time to grab some food as we sat down. Leon Audibert opened the meeting for us with the pledge of allegiance. We gave a financial report (see inside) and briefly discussed the new developments of Josh Jones proposed draw bridge.

We had a tremendous turn out. . . my guess 130 to 140 people. We did not run out of crabs, but nearly everything else. When we closed down, the guys at the counter were eating the last of the chee weez and sliced dill pickles. Fortunately I think we had enough for everyone. Cal Durel brought his delightful gang of kids Decatur, Calvin and Jez Names?? who operated the snowball machine for everyone. We did finally light the bonfire.

Thanks to Iris Calogero, Sandy Heigle, Sarah Petty, Sharon White, who all brought delicious dishes of potato salad , marinated cheese, deserts, beans chocolates crisps, lemon pound cake etc. It was a feast. We really would have been in trouble if we had not had the extra goodies.

Our 50/50 prize was 134 big ones and was drawn by two beautiful granddaughters of ?? named Madison and ??.

As Kerry was simultaneously bracing himself on my shoulder and Dick’s he implored me not to again mention his behavior at the NSBA party. So our lips are sealed.

Thanks to Buddy Mayfield who graciously donated a microphone to replace ours that unfortunately disappeared in the spring.

North Shore Beach and Proud of it

Next time you explain to someone where you live by telling them "by Carr Dr", you might also tell them there is no such thing as "Carr Dr. Subdivision". We live in North Shore Beach and we now have a sign to let everyone know. Thanks to a some neighborly help we were able to put our sign up at the entrance over the Labor Day weekend. Tom Halliger helped dig the holes - until his back started to hurt. Tommy Raymond brought his chain saw (made during the American revolution) so we could top off the poles to the right height. During the beach sweep Christine Curren, Buddy Mayfield, David Peligrin, Tom Halliger and I cleaned the area near the sign a bit. It could use more work. If anyone has a bit of time one weekend, it would great to dress up the entrance by cutting down some of the weeds. Benny Baehr is still doing an incredible job picking up the trash by the crabbing bridge. Next year we are on schedule to have a new bridge, which should help clean up the appearance even more.


Mr. Cook’s Leg

I can remember going to the skating rink on weekends in Jefferson Parish, but I never had the chance to visit our own skating rink in North Shore Beach. Miss Ruby who has been here for 40 years told me all about it. She recalls in the early 60’s walking her young daughter to the skating rink. It was so close. The rink was almost on the same ground as our community building just a bit further west. It was completely enclosed and good hardwood skating floor of tongue-and-groove long leaf pine. The crowds would come in the evening and go skate or go the concession stand to have a cold drink, to eat ice cream or to have a snowball. There was always a good crowd. Miss Ruby said it started around 1960 and lasted just a few years according to Bill Seagrave who also remembers the rink. The skating rink was run by a one-legged Mr. Cook, which seems like an interesting profession for a one –legged man. There were covered picnic tables that families would gather for the evening and enjoy the night and some snacks.

The rink eventually began to get too popular. Crowds began to get loud and large for the subdivision. There were some fist fights ,and some tire screeching. Kicking out the rabble-rousers was a challenge. The rink at first closed at midnight and then closed earlier at 10 pm. However even that was too much. The land that was the rink and concessions was eventually sold as lots or was donated to North Shore Beach Association to become the grounds for our current Community Building.

Thanks to Miss Ruby, Dottie Weiss and Bill Seagrave for digging deep into our history for this vignette.

Pillars of the Community




I recently noticed a new home being built here in which a good portion of the piling was cut off for the proper floor elevation. The pile driver probably expected to find "resistance" deeper than he did and ordered pilings too long. Pile drivers often stop when pile driving slows, and the reason they slow is because of what the piling is encountering at its bottom. Did you ever wonder why a community like ours built on marsh has almost no house settling problems? Go to parts of Jefferson parish and the homes also built on marsh and they roll like waves on Lake Pontchartrain due to settling of the ground.

So why is North Shore Beach different from much of South Louisiana and does not have a settling problem? As unlikely as it may seem about 20,000 years ago the level of lake Pontchartrain and the Gulf of Mexico was about 300 feet lower ! ! That is a fact. So all the areas that is now North Shore Beach and Lake Pontchartrain itself was land and was a lot like the rest of St. Tammany – rolling hills cut by little streams. The ground then was mostly clay and it became very firm – not a rock- but a clay slightly thicker than play doe. Well when the sea began to rise to where it is now the little rivers and this hard clay became buried in the marsh mud that we now see all around us. However that hard clay is just a few feet below us. In fact at the public beach it is at the ground surface and being washed by the waves. In most of North Shore Beach that clay is just 10 – 20 feet down and that is where pile drivers will hit resistance and probably stop driving the piling. If you happen to put a piling where one of those little rivers used to be it, resistance (the clay) will be deeper. You may need a longer piling.

Pilings driven to the hard clay are generally very stable, and the home will not settle. The problem in New Orleans is that this same clay is 50 - 100 feet below the ground beyond the reach of conventional pilings. Most pilings for homes in New Orleans or Jefferson Parish never reach the same clay as we have here and are not as stable. In fact the architect who first overcame the challenge of high rise construction in New Orleans (Plaza Tower) did so by inventing interlocking pilings that could be extended 100 feet or more and reach that same firm clay that we have just a few feet below our feet.

We all appreciate how lucky we are to have a home in a marsh, but we should also realize our great luck to be in one of the few marshes in Louisiana where homes can easily be built in a marsh and be as stable as a commercial building.


Beach Swept and lagniappe

On Sunday September 16 th we held our first official NSBA beach sweep. I say official because a couple years ago Tommy Raymond was in the newspaper doing a beach sweep with his daughter Katie. It was that civic attitude that led me to ask him to join the NSBA board. Anyway Tommy organized this year’s event and we had an excellent turn out. SO much so we did quite a bit of lagniappe. Mary Leonard brought her kids Mara, Maria and Big John who picked up the litter along our bulkhead and moved on to the public beach. Kristine Durel brought a subset of their family – Decatur, Calvin and Jez who also worked the beach. Warren and Marsha ?? showed up and they volunteered for some "Special " project like cleaning out the bottom of the BBQ pit. Rene and Michelle? Loupre’ filled in some washouts and got so enthused he went home and got his pressure washer to clean the patio next the community Building. Dr. Mottram and ?? also showed and made a round through the yard.

Then we split up. Buddy Mayfield, Christine Curren and I went to the front of Carr Dr. by the bridge. There we three picked up the trash and cut the weeds. However I could not start Tommy’s lawnmower and in frustration returned to the Community Building to get help. Not finding Tommy (he was in his flat boat with daughter Katie and her friend Denise getting more beach trash) I returned to the Carr Dr. Bridge and to my amazement I found a large riding mower mounted by David Pelligrin cutting the grass by the bridge and Tom Halliger with a bush hog mowing the grass by the road. Then to top off the community spirit some nearby neighbor brought us drinks (ok, I admit, it was beer). These three noticed us working and decided to pitch in. Then Tommy showed up and showed me the kill switch on his mower which immediately came to life.

So we got the bridge done and had one last assignment and fortunately two good volunteers. Warren and Marsha ?? and I went to the North Shore sign near the Highway 11 bridge and (with Tommy’s mower, a machete and weed eaters managed to trim all the weeds around sign welcoming people to North Shore. While all this went on Sarah Petty and Sharon White spruced up the garden in front of the Community Building adding a nice touch to the days work.

Thanks for Tommy spearheading the sweep and to everyone who pitched in.

Red Cross Contribution

An NSBA check for $100 was sent to the Red Cross for the victims in New York City. I’m sure many of you sent your own personal checks, but the board felt a contribution should be made in the name of our community. I can’t add anything more profound than what has already been said about the terrible tragedy on September 11, 2001. We have always opened our meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance and we will continue to do so. For those of us that the words have gotten a bit rusty you might re-freshen your memory so we can all say it together next meeting. It is just one sentence.

The Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance

to the flag

of the Untied States of America

and to the republic

for which it stands,

one nation under god

with liberty and justice for all.