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-Letter from a wonderful student of Mr. Paul Batiste-
My name is Cherolyn Thompson. I played the flute in your band at
Gentilly Terrace from 2001-2004. I just wanted to look you up and tell
you how much I appreciate you and everything that you taught me those
three years. Playing in the band has to be some of my fondest memories
from my childhood. Thank you for giving me my first real taste of
leadership and discipline. Thank you for introducing me to what I've
always considered to be my first love. It's been years since I've
actually been able to play (after Katrina my older sister took her
flute back from me), but I plan on picking it back up real soon. I
have enstilled in me a love for music I will never forget, as I'm sure
all the rest of your students have.
Thank you again,
I am a native New Orleanian - now living in Virginia (Washington, DC) where I am
a retired Federal Employee and former two-term political appointee of the Bill
Clinton Administration. I moved to the East Coast in the mid 80s. Although I
grew up in Marrero, I always knew of all the happenings in and around the City
of New Orleans (even while there on travel or vacations with my family). I am
forever proud to call NOLA home and everyone who knows me - knows I am one of
New Orleans' finest.
I have very fond memories of "The Batiste Brothers Band." My friends and I
followed you all from the Eastbank to the Westbank to the Outerbanks. In fact,
my best friend's ex-husband (Teetie) was once your lead singer. Among my
fondest memories are times spent under the bridge on Orleans and Claiborne on
Mardi Gras day and (without revealing my age...) at the Gong Shows with the late
Bobby Marchand (sp?). OMG!!! I remember dancing until my clothes were drenched
and hair was stuck to my forehead. I even remember parting with you guys at a
little "Hole in the Wall" in Kenner (off Airline Highway). Man...we partied so
hard that night that we were unaware of a terrible storm and a tornado that
touched down nearby. Me and the girls still laugh about it. Those were the
I stumbled across your enlightening story by accident while surfing on the
Internet. Who knew? Actually, I was always impressed with your poise and found
you extremely talented (and handsome). I also got the impression that you were
the more serious and business savvy brother in the group because you were so
quiet. A striking reminder of myself. After reading your story I now see why.
I am also a firm believer of fighting for what's right as well as fighting for
what's rightfully yours. I applaud and admire that you take seriously your
family's legend - for it truly has its place in New Orleans History.
Your spirit reminds me of my two favorite quotes...
"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's
By Tommy Lasorta
"Above all, remember that the most important thing you can take anywhere is
not a Gucci
Bag or French-cut jeans; it's an open mind."
By Gail Rubin Bereny
You are my new inspiration! I salute you Paul and wish YOU and your talented
family long life and much continued success. I pray that the next generation
represents the groundwork that you've set forth with as much poise and grace as
Peace and Blessings. Be well.
Gilda "Gi-Gi" Hagan-Brown
This book needs to get in the hands of oprah because this book is a book of hope, family, love, togetherness, etc. all the things that need to inspire people and so much positivity.
This is the kind of thing we as a people need to see. Something to give us a heads up instead of down toward distruction. Keep up the excellent work and I support you 100%. You are an example of good people and you can't help but support and admire good people. You are what I call a Gentle Giant.
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