Posts tagged Pixie Naquin
Holy Moly, the Kerns are back at it, this time at the lofty level of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. It’s a little more than two months to Carnival, and that means float builders are in very high gear, especially the biggest float builder, the Kerns, who build Rex, Bacchus, Endymion, Muses, Orpheus, Alla and many other important parades.
It’s very obvious that both parties are very wounded by the process. The attorneys are thrilled, since they are getting all this free press again. Blaine Sr feels terrible, and his son Barry isn’t any happier. As I’ve said before, don’t sue your parents, no matter what! It kills your karma forever, practically. I’m not sure the 84 year old Kern Sr understands why his son has come after him in court of all places.
The Appeals Court could take months to rule, and Mardi Gras is a little more than 2 months approximately. However, Endymion Captain Ed Muniz says the Kern float building operation appears to running very smoothly. This is the most organized I’ve seen them in a long time. Barry was sired to do these things,” Muniz said. It’s kind of sad. Big Blaine had become the senior statesman. Now as far as I can see, he’s very isolated. It’s a a shame he just didn’t stay in that role. What he really deserves is all the krewes to thank him for the wonderful contributions he’s made.
I’ve also said before, the reason this whole court debacle is occurring is because Pixie Naquin isn’t there to smooth over the hurt feelings for the sake of family unity. She was the founder’s executive secretary since he started out in business, and she never let past serious family disputes end up on court. She was the cat’s meow for Kern Enterprises, there’s absolutely no doubt about that.
Blaine’s new wife loves him dearly, but Holly is a bit of control freak. This family feud has been festering ever since Pixie died. Barry Kern sued his father last year, claiming the family business had been damaged by his dad’s alleged fiscal irresponsibility.
Blaine’s statements outside of court were both telling and oh so sad. You have no idea, no idea, he said. My heart’s broken, but I want to see justice because I’ve created this, and for the last year I haven’t been able to go in my buildings.
Barry’s statement was just as revealing. I love my dad, but we all continue to be confused and saddened by his actions. My primary responsibility is to our clients and employees. My sincere hope is that this can be resolved as quickly as possible….Mardi Gras 2012 is on track to be a blockbuster.
I know Barry, Blaine Sr, Blaine Jr, and Holly Brown from many dealings. In 2006, I was asked to put together a Mardi Gras Music Compilation, and Blaine and Barry agreed to sponsor it. The next day, I’m called to a meeting at Mardi Gras World, and I’m told the CD won’t feature Professor Longhair and Al Carnival Time Johnson, but none other than Ms. Holly Brown.
Vince Vance from Vince Vance & the Valiants was called to produce the CD, and was asked to add a few of his excellent Mardi Gras tunes to the mix. Blaine sells the CD from a little stand for 5 years in his Gift Shops, so it probably sells fairly well. Holly was the new girlfriend at the time, and when she exerted complete control of the situation and Blaine, I knew she was a keeper.
Now, 5 years later, Blaine and Holly marry. Blaine fires Barry as Company President on August 31. Barry sues Blaine a month later, claiming Holly has been interfering with the business for years. Where was Kern Artists Executive Secretary Pixie Naquin in all this? Unfortunately, Pixie passed away recently, leaving the Kern men to their own devices, and that resulted in the lawsuit. You can see the huge role Pixie played as a peacemaker within the family now that she’s gone.
I always admired Pixie. I remember when I first met her when I was interviewing Blaine Kern in the early 1980s for a Mardi Gras story on float builders. Pixie had been with Blaine for about 20 years by that time. When I interviewed Blaine, Pixie was present, and Blaine referred to her regularly to get me this material or that file. I worked with Blaine for about 3 years at this time, and Pixie was fantastic, a real hero of Mardi Gras, and truly Blaine’s right hand woman. As his business grew in an international direction later in the 1980s, Pixie was a whiz at keeping the lid on Kern Enterprises, pacing Blaine who really needed it as he was overdoing it badly at this time. Blaine’s kids were young and weren’t part of the company yet. She kept Kern Enterprises on a steady keel as the company grew and grew.
Kern does the float building for all the Super Krewes- Bacchus, Rex, Endymion, Orpheus, Zulu. I learned from Pixie just how Blaine acquired all those top parades, and it’s a secret I’ll have to take to my grave, because Pixie only told me if I swore I would never tell a soul. As the business grew overseas, Pixie ran that for Blaine also.
Whatever Blaine got into, Pixie was there, always graceful when others were losing their heads due to the pressures of adding the overseas division at the same time maintaining good will and contracts with all the reigning Super Krewes.