I have begun to get to know Catherine Freeman in her role as the newest columnist for St. Charles Avenue magazine’s “Making a Difference” column.
She came highly recommended for the position of discovering and profiling local nonprofits, having served on many boards, including the Junior League to Trinity and Newman schools, the Herman-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses, the Legacy Donor Foundation and many more. In addition, this graduate of Sweet Briar College, who has also lived and worked in New York City and Atlanta, has Chaired Longue Vue’s “Sentimental Journeys,” Audubon Zoo’s “Zoo-To-Do,” HGGHH’s “Amazing Grapes” Children’s Hospital’s “Sugarplum Ball” and many more. She currently lives in New Orleans with her husband, Andrew Freeman, and her three children.
Read on and learn more about Catherine.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? My idea of perfect happiness is being grateful for every day and looking for the positive in every aspect of my life.
What is your greatest fear? I’m not afraid of much, but have oddly developed a fear of heights as I’ve gotten older. Public speaking comes in a close second.
Which living person do you most admire? There are so many people I admire for various reasons but not one that stands out as the “most” admired. The unsung heroes that don’t seek any kind of recognition are at the top of my list.
What is your greatest daily (or almost daily) extravagance? I love chocolate! I indulge by adding a shot of chocolate milk to my coffee in the morning and like to have a square of super dark chocolate after dinner, if no one has already gotten into my secret stash.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? None. I believe all virtues are important unless you consider beauty a virtue, which I don’t.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? My kids make fun of how much I use the emoji smiley face with the wink and tongue sticking out, but it just seems to be perfect for so many of my texts I can’t resist using it. It isn’t a word, but apparently I overuse the emoji more than anything I say.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? My family. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful husband and three great children as well as an amazing and supportive extended family on both sides.
Which talent would you most like to have? I’d love to be talented musically or artistically. I love to sing by am only “allowed” to belt it out while I’m alone in my car or at church where no one hears me, and I can barely draw a stick figure!
What do you consider your greatest achievement? I believe achievement is a lifetime goal, so if I rest my laurels on my one great moment I cease to strive to achieve. My goal is to live in the moment to make every day an achievement.
Where would you most like to live? My husband and I joke with our kids that when they’re grown and leave the house that they’re going to have to find us on a sailboat somewhere in the Carribbean, but I really can’t imagine wanting to live anywhere else than New Orleans. I love, love to travel and have lived in other cities, but New Orleans is home.
What do you most value in your friends? Honesty and trust are the root of all my close friendships – and a lot of laughter.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I hate that I get sleepy very early in the night and always wish I had the stamina to stay up later.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? I have a hard time being around people who are constantly negative or who need to be the center of attention.
What restaurant do you find yourself recommending to friends lately? I seem to be recommending restaurants on Freret Street a lot, because they’re so many good ones that aren’t too fussy or hard to get into last minute.
Describe your perfect New Orleans day? My perfect day would be 70 degrees (my self-proclaimed “perfect temperature”) and sunny. I’d start my day with beignets and coffee, take a walk around Audubon Park with our dog, have friends over to enjoy crawfish and cold beer for lunch, play tennis (or watch a Saints game if it’s fall) and finish the day off with dinner with my family at one of our favorite restaurants.
What’s your favorite New Orleans story? I still get teary-eyed when I think about the magical football season when the Saints won the Super Bowl … and how it was really so much more than football.
Favorite thing to do in New Orleans during the summer? Eat a snowball from Hansen’s Sno-Bliz with my family.
What are you most looking forward to this fall? I’m ready to enjoy cooler weather; to reconnect with friends we haven’t seen over the summer; to my daughter’s senior year in high school and my boys’ soccer games and cross country meets; to Saints football; and I can’t wait for the completion of repaving the track at Audubon Park (I’m tired of muddy running shoes!).