Hancock County

Why a former Bay St. Louis mayor swore off long pants in 2005

Bay St. Louis Mayor Eddie Favre after Hurricane Katrina
Bay St. Louis Mayor Eddie Favre after Hurricane Katrina ttisbell@sunherald.com File

Former Bay St. Louis Mayor Eddie Favre’s stepped out in long pants Tuesday for the first time in more than five years and five months.

He eschewed long pants after Hurricane Katrina, vowing he would wear them only after his city had recovered.

He wore shorts and flip-flops in freezing temperatures. He cooked outdoors in shorts with snow on the ground at a Virginia fundraiser. He wore shorts in an open carriage, freezing all the while, as grand marshal of a parade in Lexington, Ky., in the winter of 2005.

He wore a tuxedo -- with the pants lopped off at his knees and bright-white sneakers -- to a gala in Washington. “People looked at me like I was nuts,” he said.

Alas, a court date cut short his long-pants boycott.

“It’s a shame that it had to come down to this,” Favre said Tuesday, after he arrived at the Harrison County courthouse wearing long pants. He is serving as Biloxi’s financial expert in a Gulfport annexation trial that started Tuesday morning.

As for recovery, Favre believes Bay St. Louis is getting there. A new marina was recently approved for the waterfront and a community hall opened just last week. Still, downtown merchants continue to struggle as many lots remain vacant, particularly the waterfront restaurants and bars Favre fondly recalls.

“We’re not quite there yet,” Favre said, “but I didn’t want to offend the judge.”

Favre wore a short-sleeved black shirt with his khaki-colored slacks. He said he had to go to the outlet mall in Gulfport on Tuesday night to buy suitable black shoes. He didn’t feel his flip-flops would work for court.

Favre served as mayor for 20 years, but decided not to seek re-election in 2009. The accountant is working as a consultant, mostly in the area of municipal finance.

“I don’t miss the politics,” Favre said. “I hate politics. I really do.”

Anita Lee: 228-896-2331, @calee99

This story was originally published in 2011.