Life So Far
Ellen's Page
Gene's Page
New Orleans

We lived in New Orleans from 1968 to 1971, uptown, in the area know as Carrollton. It was a great neighborhood then, with restaurants and all the local stores you would ever need. The Belmont Grocery was a small local store and even delivered your phone order. Walter would ride it over on his bicycle. And Menier's Hardware was on Maple street, just next to the Sun Shop, where we sold our macrame.

The food was wonderful and cheap, the music everywhere, and the streetcar was still a dime.

We got back to visit from time to time, and one son went to Loyola. The pictures on this page are from around 1969.

The Music

On our free evenings, we would take the streetcar down to canal, and walk into the Quarter. We had dinner for a pittance at the Cafe Vaucresson Creole, listening to gospel songs, then turned the corner on Saint Peter to get to Preservation Hall for the first set. That way, we could get a seat. Those were the days when the great ones were still alive and playing, and the Hall had not been discovered. George Lewis, Alcide Pavigeau, Big Jim Robinson, Percy and Willie Humphrey, Cie Frazier, Sweet Emma the Bell Gal, were all still playing then. And the Olympia Brass Band was available for parites, weddings, and neighborhood events. A few years ago, shortly before Percy Humphrey died, I was fortunate to catch him at the Palm Court. I introduced my sons to him and we reminisced about the 60s in Preservation Hall. He said he was glad to see a new generation coming to hear the music.

The following pictures are from a night at the Hall with Jim Robinson, the Humphry Brothers, and Cie Frazier. The other pictures are from a jazz funeral in 1968, mostly taken along Claiborne Avenue.

Big Jim Robinson
Percy Humphrey
Willie Humphrey
Jazz Funeral
Lafayette Cemetary #1
  This is the well know cemetary near Commander's Palace restaurant. In the late 1960's, it was pretty run down and had not been discovered by tourists. These photos are from 1969.  
  Because of the high water table, the graves are above ground. Often, as in this cemetary, one or more walls are used for burials. The photos below show the wall at Lafayette #1. At that time, the graves were not well cared for, and some, especially in the wall, were open. The last photo is from one of the open graves.  
Sailing on Lake Ponchatrain
Fort Macomb

One of two forts (the other being Fort Pike) built in the early 1800s to defend the northern approaches to New Orleans, through the Rogolets. In the late 1960s it was sliding into ruin. Located on the water near the Chef Mentour Highway, it was accessible from land in those days. Locals were using it for target practice, which explains all the bullet holes, as the fort never saw a battle: New Orleans fell to a direct assault up the Mississippi. The boat traffic on the waterway, we were told, was causing wave damage to the waterside of the fort. The fort was one of many with vertical brick-encased walls. It mounted pivot guns within the walls, and the iron semicircular tracks were still in the floor when we were there. I believe it was built to the same plan as Fort Pike, which has been preserved.

I don't think the fort has fared well through the years. But this is what it looked like in 1969. One of the pictures shows the railroad bridge over the Chef Menteur Pass.