Gym Mass is a key part of the holistic education offered at Brother Martin High School.
Brother Louis Couvillon, SC, leads the students, faculty and staff of Brother Martin High School in the celebration of the Eucharist, Fall of 2009. Brother celebrates a “gym mass” – where the entire school gathers in the Conlin Gym. While my only date for the photo is the fall semester of 2009, it’s clear this liturgy happened later in the semester. Too many students and teachers wear sweatshirts for this to be in August or September. I see BC and Mr. Rando (who was principal at the time) sitting to the right.
Evolution of school liturgies
The school’s approach to religious education over the last fifty years reflects, in many ways, the evolution of the Church. I stepped into what is now the “Cor Jesu Building” in the fall of 1971 and went to Room 101. After Louisiana History and English 8A, Brother Warren Laudumiey, SC, stepped in for Religion 8. The curriculum was post-Vatican II material. In retrospect, it was pretty solid. The Religion Department’s approach to the Eucharist was for each religion class to gather for a Mass in the chapel of the brother’s residence next door, each semester. The school didn’t gather as a whole for Mass. The BOSH made their “Nine First Fridays” devotion by celebrating Mass in the Resource Center each first Friday. These liturgies were optional. Students who chose not to attend would come to school later (the day ran on a “morning assembly schedule”) or sit in the Mall. While there were no liturgies for the underclass grades, Seniors gathered for their Ring Mass and Graduation Mass at local churches that could accommodate them.
Transition to whole-school liturgy
As the Church swung back from the changes of the Second Vatican Council, the Brother Martin faith community did so as well. By the time my boys (classes of 2006 and 2012) arrived at the school, the Religion Department coordinated a regular schedule of full-school events. Unlike those class Masses from the 70s, and the First Friday Masses, gym mass involves the concert band, student council, and others. The school has a Student Minister group, as well as a cadre of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. While the Archbishop harbors concerns about Catholics moving away from supporting the neighborhood parish, I wish he would cut the schools a break. A faith community at a high school can help teens form solid, positive impressions about the Church.
A note on Brother Louis: Brother was the last in the line of “priest-brothers” at BMHS. The late Brother Farrell Lorio, SC, was an ordained priest, as was Brother Ray Hebert, SC. When Brother Farrell passed, Brother Louis came to BMHS. He’s since been assigned up to New Jersey. Now, Fr. Paul Hart, BMHS Class of 1970, augments his parochial duties by serving as the school’s chaplain.
Streetcars and Walgreens at 900 Canal Street!
900 Canal Street
This Peter Ehrlich photo from 2008 features some next details. Most notably, NORTA 968 runs inbound on the Canal Street line. This was the period post-Katrina where the Canal and St. Charles lines crossed over. The 2000-series Von Dullen cars flooded at Canal Station. The arch roofs survived the storm, buttoned up on high ground at Carrollton Station. Unfortunately, the wind uptown blew down over sixty percent of the overhead wires on the St. Charles line. So, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA) combined the two.
Perleys back on Canal
The overhead on Canal required only minor repairs. They re-built the trucks and propulsion on the 2000s. The Rail Department towed green streetcars down St. Charles to Canal Street. Once on Canal, the streetcars ran on their own. So, they went into service. Notice that NORTA 968 sports “SPECIAL” on the rollboard. The roll signs no longer include “CANAL,” since their national landmark status locks them into St. Charles. The thirty-five remaining 900-series cars haven’t run on Canal since 1964. The green streetcars present a powerful symbol of the history and strength of the city. Running them on the Canal line added resiliency as a statement.
Behind NORTA 968 stands the Walgreens Drug Store at 900 Canal Street. This store opened in 1939. All that neon dates back to 1940. A lot of transplants to New Orleans see the bright lights and express disdain. They don’t realize just how long that Walgreens has been a part of the CBD. (On a side note, the folks that work there are fantastic. I’ve actually done a book signing there.)
The old Chess, Checkers and Whist Club building stood at the corner of Canal and Baronne for generations. By the 1930s, the structure fell apart from the inside. Walgreens bought the property, demolished the old building, and built the drugstore.
The palm trees appeared during the 1957. The 900 block received greenery, as the “beautification project” that year cut back the four streetcar tracks in the neutral ground to two. Hard freezes killed those first palm trees, but New Orleanians love them. So, the city replaced them, over and over.
Behind Walgreens is the Roosevelt Hotel, with its rich and colorful history in the CBD.
Union Pacific 6310 is a “heritage” engine operating in the New Orleans area.
Union Pacific 6310
This engine, Union Pacific 6310, is a General Electric (GE) AC4400CW unit. UP 6310, on the BackBelt at Canal Blvd, Monday morning. This unit was built in 1995 for the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP), and delivered as SP 264. The roster lists don’t mention that it was re-numbered when UP acquired SP. It also explains why I couldn’t find photos of it in yellow/UP livery. This isn’t a “heritage” unit, in the sense that it was painted to look like a previous railroad. It’s always been SP.
Southern Pacific in New Orleans
The New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Railroad (NOO&GW) operated 83 miles of track, from Algiers (on the west bank of the Mississippi) to Morgan City, into the 1890s. At that time, SP acquired NOO&GW. By 1921, NOO&GW (then known as Morgan’s Louisiana and Texas Railroad and Steamship Co) merged into the Texas and New Orleans Railroad. T&NO operated as part of the SP system. NOO&GW operated a passenger station in Algiers, beginning in 1857. SP expanded that facility into a large freight yard. After the opening of the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish, SP moved its Algiers yard to Avondale, LA, on the western side of the Huey. UP and BNSF currently operate the Avondale yard.
So, SP maintained a large presence in the city. Additionally, SP operated (through the T&NO originally) three “name trains” out of New Orleans. The Sunset Limited and the Argonaut provided service from New Orleans to Los Angeles. The Alamo ran from New Orleans to San Antonio, TX. Amtrak retained the “Sunset Limited” name for their New Orleans to Los Angeles route.
When I researched the provenance of this engine, I thought 6310 was purchased originally by UP. The number fit in the range of the UP AC4400CWs. I posted the image to a railroading Facebook group. The members know a lot more about local railroading than I. I appreciate their patience!. While UP has a set of “heritage” engines, 6310 isn’t in the list. That’s because it’s not a UP unit, repainted. It’s always worn SP livery.
Santa Fe Restaurant on Frenchmen Street, before it moved to Faubourg St. John.
Santa Fe Restaurant
Advertisement postcard for Santa Fe Restaurant, from October, 2006. Santa Fe, at 801 Frenchmen Street, overlooked Washington Square Park in Faubourg Marigny. Later, Santa Fe moved to Esplanade Avenue in Faubourg St. John.
Washington Square Park
This patch of green space in Faubourg Marigny dates back to Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville. The heir to the Marigny Plantation, Bernard subdivided the plantation in 1806. Whether it was Bernard of his surveyors/planners that made the decision, the plan included a public park, bounded by Frenchmen, Royal, Dauphine, and Elysian Fields. So, Santa Fe offered a view of the park.
The city owns Washington Square park. So, it’s publicly accessible green space. That’s important in any neighborhood. Additionally, the city allows special events in the square. Production companies regularly use the square for films and television. The HBO series, “Treme” featured the square as a meeting place for regular characters. Musicians gathered at the square. They branched out from there, busking on corners in the French Quarter. The current show, NCIS: New Orleans, presents Washington Square as an outdoor, socially-distant, concert venue.
Santa Fe Restaurant to Faubourg St. John
Gabrielle, a popular restaurant along Esplanade Avenue in the FSJ neighborhood, closed after Hurricane Katrina. Their location at 3201 Esplanade, near the Fair Grounds racetrack, stood empty. Santa Fe Restaurant moved on that location. While the Marigny offered a historic locale, the Esplanade Avenue building gave them more parking. It also placed them directly in the path of Jazz Fest attendees.
Santa Fe Restaurant offers quality Mexican/Tex-Mex fare. They also serve margaritas, by the glass or the pitcher. Their outdoor seating gives diners a great place to sit, eat, drink, and watch the world go by. Going back to Gabrielle, I’ve always found the acoustics of the building harsh. So, we jump at outdoor tables. It’s a great place for a #daydrinking lunch!
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Talking baseball! Derby Gisclair conversation on NOLA History Guy Podcast 1-June-2019
NOLA History Guy Podcast 1-June-2019
We have a LONG “long-form” podcast today! It’s our second conversation with S. Derby Gisclair, author and historian, about his book, Baseball in New Orleans. I had a great chat with Derby, up at the French Truck Coffee Shop on Magazine Street in the Garden District.
New Orleans Pelicans Baseball
Pelicans manager Jimmy Brown with two Loyola players, Moon Landrieu (l), and Larry Lassalle, 1948.
Most of Baseball in New Orleans focuses on the old New Orleans Pelicans. The club was around, in one form or another, from 1887 to 1977. The New Orleans Zephyrs arrived in 1993. So, the AAA-level club in Denver had to leave that city when they got a team in The Show, the Colorado Rockies. These professional teams anchored baseball interest in New Orleans for over 150 years.
New Orleanians played baseball at several locations in the 1800s. The early Pelicans teams played at Sportsman’s Park. So, this ballpark sat just behind what became the “Halfway House,” later the Orkin Pest Control Building, on City Park Avenue. The ballpark operated from 1886 to 1900. The Pelicans moved to Athletic Park on Tulane Avenue in 1901.
Heinemann Park/Pelican Stadium
In the early years of the Pelicans,Alexander Julius (A.J.) Heinemann, sold soft drinks at Pelicans games. Heinemann eventually joined the board of the club. He acquired the land at the corner of Tulane and S. Carrollton Avenues. So, Heinemann displaced a small amusement park called “White City.” Therefore, the Pelicans had a “serious” home. While the Pels were in the off-season, they moved the bleachers up Tulane Avenue to the new ground. The Pelicans played at Heinemann Park, later named Pelican Stadium, until its demolition in 1957. Derby has lots of stories about the ballpark in NOLA History Guy Podcast 1-June-2019.
Other Baseball Leagues
St. Aloysius and Loyola star (later Brother Martin and UNO coach) Tom Schwaner
Numerous leagues played in New Orleans. While the Pels played, amateur leagues also organized. They included workers at stores and businesses. So, these leagues played at local parks. High School and college teams also played. Derby’s books chronicle those teams. Special shout-outs to the “Brothers Boys! So, several BOSH young men appear in the book. So, one of them was St. Aloysius and Loyola Grad Tom Schwaner. Schwaner also coached Brother Martin and UNO. So, Gisclair also mentions the strong teams at Brother Martin High School in the early 1980s.
The Books of NOLA History Guy Podcast 1-June-2019
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (SC)
Publication Date: March 24th, 2004
Series: Images of Baseball
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (SC)
Publication Date: January 2007
Series: Images of Baseball
Publisher: McFarland & Company
Publication Date: March 15th, 2019
Last Week’s Podcast, where we talk with Derby about Early Baseball.
The Times-Picayune Farewell begins. I have concerns. (cross-posted to YatPundit.com)
Screenshot of NOLA.com, 03-May-2019 in the morning.
The phone delivered a tweet with a story about The Advocate acquiring the Times-Picayune yesterday afternoon. I feel a sense of anxiety and urgency over this acquisition.
They’re firing the entire staff at TP/NOLA.com. This wasn’t a merger, it’s a purchase of intellectual property and physical assets. The humans that made NOLA.com what it is are on the street.
When Newhouse delivered their last big round of cutbacks at TP, I felt like something should/could be done to develop a platform in the market that offered a place for some of those laid-off writers to publish and get paid. Folks told me there was no way it would work. A discussion group on the subject failed miserably. Fortunately, Lamar developed the idea for TBB delivered big time in its first year.
TP employed a lot of talented people. Many of them know New Orleans is home, in spite of this setback.
The “digital era” of the Times-Picayune spans over twenty years. While Da Paper struggled, management and staff found a “digital voice.” Forays into video produced good, thoughtful discussion between writers such as Tim Morris and Jarvis Deberry. The bumps in the road were large, though. The first massacre at TP was when Newhouse fired all of the “digital” staff at NOLA.com. That staff operated separately from T-P. Unifying the dot-com with the newspaper offered the organization an opportunity to take charge. All this now shifts to history.
The stories of how NOLA.com grew, then shrunk, then merged with T-P connect with New Orleans’ larger stories in the early aughts and teens. T-P struggled like everyone else during Katrina. They rose above the #shitshow.
We must preserve these stories and memories.
I’m thinking this through, but we have to move quickly. People pack up and leave as soon as other opportunities present themselves.
Work with me to preserve the stories of the last twenty years.