The Silver Girls, a social and support group formed in 1961 by a dozen young ladies, some friends since childhood in Gretna and some met as students at West Jefferson High School, mostly in the Class of 1960.

Sixty-one years later, the group still gets together monthly to eat, talk and get the needed wisdom on local gossip and today, on updated medical news!

Recently at a luncheon held at Ormond Plantation hosted by Silver Girl Sally Church, the group had a lot of fun wearing moustaches to show support for Silver Girl grandson, J. P. France.

Jonathan Patrick France, born April 4, 1995 is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was selected in the 14th round of the 2018 MLB draft by the Astros, and made his MLB debut in 2023.

J. P. is the grandson of Silver Girl Katherine France and hubby Teetsie France, the son of Pat and Kim France. J. P. is married to Jessica McCain and they have a 4 month-old son named Liam.

J. P. France grew up in Luling and attended Archbishop Shaw High School where he was a four year letter winner. He went on to Tulane University where he played college baseball for the Green Wave. He missed his sophomore season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and used a medical redshirt. As a redshirt junior, France produced a 5–5 win–loss record (W–L) with a 3.84 earned run average (ERA) and 73 strikeouts over 96 innings pitched (IP), and 13–12 W–L, 4.01 ERA in his career overall with the Green Wave. After the season, he transferred to Mississippi State University (MSU) to play for the Bulldogs in his final year of eligibility.

He was selected in the 14th round of the 2018 MLB draft by the Houston Astros. After signing with the team,  he was assigned to the Tri-City Valley Cats of the New York–Penn League, moved to the bullpen and was later promoted to the Single-A Quad Cities River Bandits. He spent the 2019 season with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers of the High-A Carolina League, where he was used primarily as a starting pitcher. He was assigned to the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks prior to the start of the 2021 season before being promoted to the Triple-A Sugar Land Skeeters.

J. P. was optioned to the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys to begin the 2023 season. In 5 appearances (3 starts) for Sugar Land, he logged a 2–1 record and 2.33 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 19+1⁄3 innings pitched.

On May 5, 2023, the Astros announced that J. P. would be promoted to the major leagues for the first time and made his major league debut the next day against the Seattle Mariners. He earned his first major-league win on May 12, 2023, versus the Chicago White Sox, yielding one run over 6+2/3 innings.                                                                              

The Silver Girls have watched and followed J. P. live or through news from his grandmother for many years as they have all of the children and grands of the group. So good to see success in a lifelong dream. 

Some Silver Girls have come and gone over the years, and some are charter members. The Silver Girls line-up today includes Bobby Covell Adams, Barbara Thibodeaux Bieber, Sally Evans Church, Pat Laborie Covell, Gene Ann Talbot Dragna, Cindy Blanchard Falterman, Kathryn Caulking France, LuLu Ribaul Greene, Judy Staples Keller, Linda Ehret LaBorde and Mary Helen Williams.

The group has hung together through marriages, childbirth, divorces, re-marriages, the loss of parents, husbands, and, sadly, the loss of other Silver Girls. 

The Silver Girls are a wonderful support system and a major influence in the lives of each other.  When one of the ‘girls’ is sick, and the girls have been hit by some major illnesses over the years, the love and support is phenomenal.

Not enough, helping each other, many in the group are active with volunteer work, sometimes multiple Silver Girls work on the same project. With all of the members retired, some have time to exercise and travel together.   The luncheon at Ormond Plantation in moustache mode to congratulate and support the entire family of J. P. France was a lovely way to spend a sunny Southern day among lifelong friends!