Thanks to the Friends of the Cabildo Tour Guides for having me in to speak!

tour guides

Tour Guides

I had the privilege on Monday to speak to the monthly meeting of the Tour Guides of the Friends of the Cabildo. The FOC offer a number of walking tours, most notably their French Quarter tour. They’re a fantastic group of folks. It takes a lot of skill and knowledge to do the tours. It also takes a strong constitution to walk the Quarter in the Summer!

The FOC Tour Guides undergo an extensive training class before they’re turned loose in the Quarter. They do “continuing education” by having people far better than me come in to speak on specific topics. Check them out if it’s something you’d like to volunteer to do.

Zooming and hybrid meetings

We’re well along in our pandemic life that remote meetings and presentations are commonplace. At the beginning, many of us thought remote meetings would be a temporary fix. As we go along, however, it’s clear now that this style of presentation is here to stay. It makes perfect sense for groups like the Tour Guides. Not only do you have Covid concerns (a lot of the members are older and play it safe), but  getting down to the Cabildo for a meeting can be challenging. So, have the presentation in a hybrid format. The Louisiana State Museum upgraded the presentation equipment in the Arsenal section of the Cabildo. This is where the group meets. I know the remote participants had no issues with the technology, since I received several emails from them. Additionally, it helps when the group has staff on hand to assist the speaker.

Remote strategies

While I hesitate to discuss how others use remote presentation software, I don’t mind sharing how I approach these meetings.

  • The group’s doing me a favor! I have books to sell, and I’m always happy to get in front of a group of potential customers.
  • Be exciting! This isn’t easy for me. Even if I spend the day teaching (my day gig is corporate computer training), I come to a NOLA History Guy talk excited. Sitting at a desk doesn’t work for me. I’m always pacing around. The audience doesn’t see this when the talk is fully remote, but my tone reflects it.
  • It’s not about me. The talk is about the material, not about how I approach a book or how I write an article.
  • Have fun! If it’s not fun, I don’t wanna do it.


Monday’s talk offered a history of the New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad. That company morphed into our modern St. Charles Avenue Streetcar line. The presentation covered over ninety years of railroads and streetcars in New Orleans. I’ll share the presentation here as a series of blog articles. Eventually I’ll do the talk again, recording it for here.


As I walked through a portion of the first floor exhibits at the Cabildo, I stopped to take a pic of this neat old K&B sign! Looking forward to being asked back to talk to the Tour Guides.

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