Cassidy Park sign gets touchup work

Published 5:39 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In 1974, Ralph Billings constructed the sign that welcomes visitors to Cassidy Park.

Initially, the sign had carved feathers hanging from the bottom. But his daughter, Judy Billings, said that “juvenile delinquents” repeatedly to the them, and so Ralph Billings decided it was an effort in futility.

Billings passed away in 1998, and Judy Billings, who now lives in Gonzales, has offered to come back to Bogalusa and freshen up her father’s work.

“I want to do it for two reasons,” she said. “The first is to honor my father’s legacy. I’m 99.9 percent sure he donated it to the city. And second, because I want to raise as much money as I can for the park. I hope the people who see the nice, fresh sign will make a donation to the park. No amount is too small.”

Billings said she had no real memories of the sign, because she was “grown and out of the house” by 1974.

On Tuesday morning, Billings met with Mayor Wendy Perrette, to clear her planned color palette.

The prep work had already been started. Homer McMahan, of SK Thomas Industrial did the scaffolding, and city council member Teddy Drummond, Denman McMillan, and Les Darden centered the sign and replaced its posts.

Billings said she was planning to jump on the project as soon as she got out of the mayor’s office.

“It’ll probably take three to four days,” she said. “It’s not supposed to rain until Friday.”

While Billings was working on her father’s sign, she was thinking of him.

“I feel blessed that I able to do this,” she said. “I’m not a spring chicken any more. I feel so blessed to honor his legacy. He was all heart.”