Our cousin (Julie Jules) is a professional singer and is part of a fundraising effort featuring New Orleans performers.   Her mother (our Aunt Jane) is referred to in the article and is the one of the people whom we went down to help (see our NOLA journal entry)

For Victims, A Lyrical Labor Of Love

Julie Jules, 48, a vocalist who was born and raised in New Orleans, said she returned to the city two years ago to be close to her 78-year-old mother. When Katrina hit, Jules lost her apartment, and her mother lost her home. The cabaret/Dixieland club where she performed was destroyed.

So when Wiseman heard Jules sing in the French Quarter after the hurricane and asked her to be part of the CD, she happily accepted.
read rest of article 

A Little Family History

Jordanne emailed the winning bidder of the De Connick-Dervaes nursery catalog to find out what his interest in the catalog was. Found out he is living in house on the former grounds of the nursery. In an email he wrote to us:

In their top years (1920 -1960) tree-nursery De Coninck-Dervaes was very famous through the whole world. Already in that time they made export to the whole Europe, USA, Japan,… They where nearly exclusive supplier for the gardens of the Belgian and lot of European royal families. The Belgian Kings were many times unofficial in Maldegem to choose trees and other flower plants as roses for their gardens. In the 1950’s and 1960’s film stars, singers, international jet set,… were the guests of De Coninck-Dervaes. They took over tree-nurseries in whole Europe. Even not the sky was the limit. In the 1960’s they named a new rose type ‘Caravelle’. Therefore they rented a Caravelle airplane and during a flight over Belgium high in the sky our current Queen Paola (than Princess) baptized the new rose. A non seen marketing event for Belgian at that time…

I think there was a time that they had 100 or even more employees. The company / family owned big parcels of land to do their activities. When it was going downwards with the business all this ground was sold, mostly parcelled for house building. I live now in a house in the neighbourhood of the former De Coninck – Dervaes properties. Also my house belonged to an other branch of the De Coninck family.

As you see the history of the tree-nursery De Coninck-Dervaes has taken some mythical proportions in our village. Also with the other tree-nurseries in Maldegem it was going down and at this time there are only few left. Now there are no more people living in Maldegem named ‘Dervaes’.

Busy Day

Jordanne & I are off to help out at the English Tea Shop (who are also our clients whom we sell edible flowers, herbs and salad). They are having their annual open house with a live brass band. Working there at the shop, we have to dress in proper English maid attire: white blouse, black skirt, shoes, stockings, crisp white apron and headdress.    Every time we put on the outfit, we feel like we’ve just walked into a genre of Upstairs Downstairs. Now if we only had a British accent to complete whole ensemble.