The Silver Girls, a social group formed in 1961 by a mix of young wives is still meeting after all these years. For 60 years they got together every month. When the Covid pandemic caused a 16-month hiatus, it was a brutal loss for the ladies who treasure their time together. Their parties serve as a social event and is an update on local happenings. It is the Holy Grail, the support system of all things medical and familial that is going on amongst the girls.
June 30 was a huge celebration, a time of relief when the “Girls” were together again! Lots of hugging went on and the long-awaited post-pandemic gathering at Gene Ann Dragna’s house in Covington lasted for over six hours. The food and drinks were excellent, but the ladies were mostly hungry for each other!
When the group formed as a PoKeNo club in 1961, some of the ladies knew each other from the Gretna neighborhood, most from their connection as classmates in the West Jefferson High School Class of 1960.
Sixty years later, the group still gets together monthly at one or the other’s house to eat, gossip and get the needed wisdom and pop-psychology that the Girls have to offer.
Some members have come, gone and returned over the years, 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 Lopez Williams.
Unfortunately, the Silver Girl group had their share of losses over the years. Deceased members include Dolores Macalusa Cardon, Marilyn Bealer Cambre, Judy Hughes Blanchard, Gwen Bracklein Fisher, Kathleen Schouest France and Joyce O’Farrell Pierron.
Right out of high school, only one, Sally Evans Church went off to college and became a social worker while the others joined the workforce or were housewives. All became mothers. As their children were less dependent, five members pursued college degrees, becoming educators, nurses and an accountant.
The group has hung together through marriages, childbirth, divorces, re-marriages, the loss of parents and husbands, and, sadly, the loss of an adult child.
The Silver Girls are a wonderful support system and a major influence in the lives of each other. When one of them is sick, and the girls have been hit by many major illnesses over the years, the love and support is phenomenal.
Right now, in real-time, the Silver Girls, with their prayers and support are solidly behind Pat Covell, the great-grandmother of 17 month-old Slade Turner who is suffering from Neuroblastoma Pediatric Cancer. A prayer chain has been circulating among locals since his diagnosis and throughout his treatments, and many more prayers would be greatly appreciated. Find the Facebook page here.
Besides helping each other, many in the group are active with volunteer work where sometimes multiple Silver Girls work on the same projects. Cindy Falterman was a longtime jeweler, Linda LaBorde is the retired Senior Jefferson Parish Court Reporter, LuLu Green retired from the school system and Mary Helen Williams is a retired oil company controller, turned columnist and blogger TheGretnaGlance.com.
All four are very active at St. Joseph Church and Shrine in Gretna where they serve as Lectors, Eucharist Ministers and in many other leadership roles. They have all been very involved in the successful $1,200,000 Restoration drive at the historic church.
With all of the members now retired, some have time to exercise and travel together. Traveling is a full-time sport for Judy Keller, a retired realtor, who is always on one trip or another. Barbara Bieber, a nurse, loves her senior groups and trips, while Gene Ann Dragna loves her exercise programs. Sally Church, who lives in Luling is very involved in her church and community programs, as well as her Roses Group. All of the Silver Girls are grandmothers who dote on their grandkids, no matter the age.
Kathy France, a retired nurse, spends her days on the road to attend baseball games to support her grandson, Jonathan Patrick “J.P.” France, a pitcher who was drafted by the Houston Astros in 2018. He is presently pitching for the Sugar Land Skeeters, a Triple-A Affiliate of the Astros.
Bobby Adams, a retired Jefferson Parish School System Asst. Superintendent enjoys the televised football games of her grandson, Jacques Boudreaux, a linebacker for the Frisco Fighters in the IFL League. Click here to see more about Jacques Boudreaux. A story of Bobby’s family of policemen can be enjoyed by clicking here.
And relief set in as the big day of the re-birth of the Silver Girls monthly gatherings finally came at Gene Ann’s house. The “Girls” felt blessed that they could enjoy the much-needed and long-awaited hugs from each other. The group shared a toast for 60 more years of love and support; the children and grandchildren of the group agree that “Silver Girls Rock!”