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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Falling Leaves

Perhaps it would be better if I don’t speak.

Reflect the silence back into the water,
listen to the evening come to help the night begin its dark trip behind the  sun.

The winter apples turn.
Fall nudges summer gently to the side,
and the light burns amber, realigns itself
so shadows  lengthen early.

The pages of this book that will not
be lain aside rustle toward its solitary end.
The dead revisit, though they are far away.
Anticipation turns to fear
that winter will not forgive.

Silence becomes prayer.
Breathe the honeyed quiet,
and brace yourself for the tilting
of the world.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

So long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Night...

I bet I've lost over 35 friends and parents of friends in the last ten years.  Sometimes it seems as though I have more dead friends than live ones.  And this past week, I lost a really special friend, Andre Pascalis Volant de La Barre of New Orleans.  

I only knew Andre for the last ten years of his life.  He was -- shall we say -- special.  Andre was handsome, brilliant, funny, outrageous and, most of all, kind.  He was one of the kindest people I've ever known.  I saw Andre clothe people who needed clothes, feed people who needed food, give encouragement and spiritual support to those who needed it most.

Andre was from New Orleans.  I'll post his obituary here, for there is nothing I can add, except that I've added a few stories told about him at the party honoring him after his funeral services.  My wish is that you all meet and know someone as special as Andre.  And recognize that person for who he or she is while they are still alive.

Andre, here's to the memories:

Andre Pascalis Volant de La Barre

  • "an incredible man. thank your for your bright and generous..."
    - scott symmank

Andre Pascalis Volant de La Barre, beloved event planner and philanthropist, passed away Thursday, November 2, 2017 at the age of 59. Mr. de La Barre, the eighth generation of de La Barres in Louisiana, was preceded in death by his father, Francois Duffossard Volant de La Barre. He attended De La Salle High School, Louisiana State University, and the Parsons School of Design in New York City. In addition to his work in architecture and design, he planned many of New Orleans' best-remembered events for more than thirty years. 

He was one of the Millennium Monarchs for the Krewe of Shangri-la. Mr. de La Barre was an enthusiastic community advocate and patron of the arts. His work benefitted a multitude of nonprofits, including: Save Our Cemeteries, the Audubon Institute, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign Fund, the New Orleans Opera Association, Liberty House, Southern Repertory Center, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the National Council of Negro Women, the National Council of Jewish Women, Preservation Resource Center, the United Services for AIDS Foundation, and the Vieux CarrĂ© Property Owners' and Residents' Foundation. "His Royal Highness" will always be remembered for the depth of his generosity, his razor-sharp wit, his ability to fill any room with laughter, and that time he wore cow print pants with his tuxedo jacket. 

Survivors include his mother, Mary Giovingo de La Barre; his sister, Maria Carmen de La Barre; his godchildren, Logan Carmen de La Barre-Hays and Sales Volant de La Barre; and his cherished weimaraner, Camelot. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Memorial Service at LAKE LAWN METAIRIE FUNERAL HOME, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd. on Monday, November 13, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Visitation will begin at 4:00 p.m. until service time. Interment will be private. To view and sign the online guest book, visit
Also, please enjoy these memories that were shared by his friends: