Hello family and friends.  It has been quite some time since we have updated the old web site.  But we are finally
    back in the saddle so to speak, and you can all look forward to some juicy updates in the future.  Remember, you can
    find corresponding pictures by clicking on the Photo Album button above.  And remember, you can always look at our
    previous ramblings by clicking on the archived Journal Entries (above) and the corresponding archived Photo Albums on
    the Photo Album page.

    We left Southern Belle in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador on June 11th and flew back to New Orleans for a much
    anticipated family reunion.  The entire Salley clan got together in a big house right on the beach in the Panhandle of
    Florida for a week of fun.  It was a wonderful time.  Unfortunately, it was at this time that we all realized something
    was amiss with Mom.  We know now that George's sweet Mother had contracted a very rare and untreatable brain
    disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD).  We fought very hard to save her, but sadly she passed away on
    September 16, 2008.  It all happened very quickly and she did not appear to suffer physically.  Coleen Salley was a
    great woman, a fantastic mother, a tireless educator, and a friend and inspiration to more people than we will ever
    know.  Coleen's physical presence may be gone from this world, but she will NEVER be forgotten!

    The local New Orleans newspaper, The Time Picayune, ran a very nice article about George's mother.  We have copied
    the article below:

    Children's author Coleen Cole Salley

           By Susan Larson

    Coleen Cole Salley, a University of New Orleans distinguished professor of children's literature, children's book author and 2004 queen of
    Krewe du Vieux, died Tuesday in Baton Rouge of complications from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. She was 79.

    Mrs. Salley was born in Baton Rouge and graduated from Louisiana State University in 1946. She originally aspired to be a newspaper
    reporter, but she turned to English and earned a certification in secondary education. She took her first job in Stuttgart, Germany, where she
    met her husband, Elmore Salley, then a young medical resident. After her husband died in an automobile accident, Mrs. Salley returned to
    Baton Rouge with her three young children and earned her master's degree in library science from LSU in 1962.

    "I had deliberately decided to be a school librarian so that I could have the same hours as my children," she said. Mrs. Salley never remarried.

    Mrs. Salley helped found the program in library science at the University of New Orleans in 1964, where she taught for more than 30 years.
    She was known for her gravelly drawl, her moving storytelling, her plain and salty speaking and a zany sense of fun. Students who took
    children's literature thinking it might be easy soon learned that she was a demanding teacher.

    Over the years, Mrs. Salley was tireless in bringing the great figures of children's literature to New Orleans, including Tomie dePaola, James
    Marshall, Ashley Bryan, James Ransome, Jim LaMarche, Jerry Pinkney and Allen Say. One of her prized possessions was an autograph
    book featuring drawings and inscriptions from her friends. She also promoted numerous Louisiana writers and illustrators.

    Bill Joyce, recently named Louisiana writer of the year, said, "If she found somebody that she liked, she would basically go out armed to the
    teeth for them. It was like suddenly you had a new force of nature on your side. There was air and water and fire and there was Coleen -- and
    she would be as constant as those on your behalf."

    In 1992, Mrs. Salley's charms reached a national audience when she appeared in a Visa commercial filmed at the Maple Street Children's
    Book Shop, a moment she wildly enjoyed. Mrs. Salley took civic pride in that commercial. "For once," she said at the time, "New Orleans is
    represented not by a streetcar or a bowl of gumbo, but reading and the education of children. I'm so tired of commercials glorifying self-
    gratification. Food! Automobiles! Underpants! If you can't put it in your mouth, ride in it or put it on your butt, they don't think we're interested.

    "It was hell to make, but it's a nice picture: the children, the charming little bookstore, the old granny storyteller . . . ."

    "The old granny storyteller" was anything but. Mrs. Salley left her house in Lakeview to live in the French Quarter during a retirement that
    challenged younger friends to keep up with her. Her Chartres Street apartment was filled with books and mementos, and her condominium
    was on the holiday French Quarter walking tour, her seven Christmas trees a must-see.

    At age 73, Mrs. Salley published her first children's book, "Who's That Tripping Over My Bridge," illustrated by Amy Dixon, followed by three
    other books: "Why Epossumondas Has No Hair on His Tail," "Epossumondas Saves the Day," both published by Harcourt, and the
    unpublished "Epossumondas Plays Possum," all illustrated by Janet Stevens. At long last, Mrs. Salley took her rightful place among the
    children's book authors she had been such a fine ambassador for through the years. "It was a nice exclamation point on her career," Joyce
    said. "For so long so much of her energy was focused on others and not herself, but she was the treasure."

    Mrs. Salley achieved a kind of immortality in other children's books. She was the model for the title character in Tomie dePaola's classic
    "Legend of Old Befana," and appeared with a duck on her head in illustrator Janet Stevens' "To Market, To Market," by Anne Miranda.

    Mrs. Salley was a regular performer at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in the children's tent, and she adored Carnival. Beginning
    in 1974, she reigned as queen of the Krewe of Coleen, scrunching herself into a decorated shopping cart, and accepting and dispensing
    Carnival tributes from her loyal subjects -- students and friends who came in from all over the country. In 2004, she reigned as the queen of
    Krewe du Vieux.

    In 2004, local children's literacy activists, writers and illustrators founded the Coleen Salley Literacy Foundation in her honor; she expanded it
    to the Coleen Salley and Bill Morris Literacy Foundation, dedicated to promoting an appreciation of books and bringing authors to local
    schools. Bill Morris, her longtime friend, was the vice president for HarperCollins Children's Books, and a legendary figure in the world of
    publishing. He is deceased. In addition to author appearances, the foundation financed book giveaways, because, as Mrs. Salley said,
    "Nothing is more important than a book of your own."

    Survivors include three children, David Salley of New Orleans, George Salley, who is sailing around the world with his family, and Genevieve
    Athens of Portland, Ore.; and seven grandchildren. Her funeral will be held Sept. 27 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Jude Shrine, 411 Rampart St.

    Coleen Cole Salley

    The above photo was taken from Coleen's website,  We have included a few photographs from
    our time back in the United States, including some pictures from the Jazz Funeral and Ceremony that was held to
    celebrate the life of this very special woman.  As always we wish you all fair winds and following seas!
A Bittersweet Visit to The United States