Twelve Months New Orleans September, continuing the series by Enrique Alferez
Twelve Months New Orleans August
This image is the ninth in a series of images by Enrique Alferez, published by Michael Higgins as “The Twelve Months of New Orleans.” Higgins published the illustrations in 1940. The image features sailboats racing on Lake Pontchartrain.
Alferez was born in Northern Mexico on May 4, 1901. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1927 to 1929. He came to New Orleans in 1929. Alferez made New Orleans his home. He took advantage of various Works Progress Administration grants in the late 1930s. Alferez created a number of sculptures in the metro area, particularly in New Orleans City Park. Additionally, he designed the large fountain in front of Shushan Airport (now New Orleans Lakefront Airport.
Alferez drew and painted, as well as sculpting. So, he included many New Orleans landmarks in the “Twelve Months” booklet.
The title/cover page of the booklet says:
A set of 12 Romantic
Displaying 60 local subjects
drawn direct on the plate
with pen, brush, and crayon
Printed and published by Michael Higgins
at 303 North Peters St
Summer’s end is the theme of September’s illustrations.
Top Left: Blessing the Cane Crop. September is sugar cane harvest time. If you’ve ever been caught behind a cane truck on Highway 1 in bayou country, believe me, we all feel your pain. Like the blessings of the shrimp boats, blessing the cane fields marked the end of summer.
Top Right: Rice. Like the cane crop, the rice harvest is important to South Louisiana to this day. While most Louisiana rice is grown in Southwest Louisiana, the growers shipped it to New Orleans, where factors bought and re-sold it to shippers and out of town buyers. Additionally, that rice appeared on the dinner tables of New Orleans year-round.
Bottom Left: Football Season! While the New Orleans Saints did not become a part of the city’s athletic landscape until 1967, LSU and Tulane football entertained fans. Both teams were in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 1940.
Bottom Right: Fish Fry! With school back in session, fundraising by the schools picked up. School cafeterias offered the perfect fundraising opportunity: the fish fry. Send the dads out for the catch. Get someone in the business to donate trout, drum, sheepshead. Head to the cafeteria to clean them and fry them up! Additionally, moms cooked potato salad and sides. Some schools and churches offered shrimp as well. Since September is a “month with an ‘R’, oysters often joined the menu.
The central drawing for September features sailboats racing on the Lake Pontchartrain. The caption reads:
On Labor Day,
The Governor’s Yacht Race is held,
or rather, sailed, on
Lake Pontchartrain and down
on the Gulf,
So, the Governor’s Cup race alternated between the two locations. Clearly this was so the rest of South Louisiana didn’t fuss about the City getting all the events.
See you for the tenth image in October.
Andy Bourgeois becomes the first football coach at Cor Jesu.
Mr. Andy Bourgeois was the first head football coach at Cor Jesu High School. The school announced it would compete in Catholic League athletics in the fall of 1964. So, Cor Jesu’s administration named its first athletic staff in January, 1965.
From its opening in 1954 until 1965, Cor Jesu High School’s defined its mission as a college prep school. While the other BOSH school in New Orleans, St. Aloysius, had athletics, Cor Jesu focused on academics. St. Aloysius High School operated as a holistic school. Cor Jesu, on Elysian Fields in Gentilly, went for the “smart boys.”
By the mid-1960s, the BOSH changed Cor Jesu’s mission. The BOSH looked ahead at the viability of the St. Aloysius campus at Esplanade and N. Rampart. Since the Aloysius building opened in 1925, it aged poorly. The Institute decided their future was on Elysian Fields, with the newer facilities.
Athletics at Cor Jesu
If the BOSH were to consolidate their efforts on Elysian Fields, the campus needed an athletic department. They had the land for this. They needed the staff. On January 30, 1965, Brother Roland, SC, Cor Jesu’s principal, introduced Andy Bourgeois at a meet-and-greet dinner. The school cafeteria provided the setting for the event.
Bourgeois was known to New Orleans, and specifically to the BOSH faith community. He graduated from St. Aloysius in 1956. As an undergraduate at LSU, Bourgeois was one of the “Chinese Bandits” that won the football national championship in 1958.
About 400 boys from the school attended the dinner event with their parents. Brother Roland introduced Coach Bourgeois. Brother presented Coach with the first “letterman” sweater for Cor Jesu. Bourgeois drove around to elementary schools in Gentilly. He introduced himself and kicked off the school’s recruiting.
Brother Roland introduced two coaches at that 30-January-1965 dinner. While Bourgeois and football received top billing, Brother also introduced Cor Jesu’s first basketball coach. Robert Conlin, a graduate of De La Salle and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, led the Kingsman’s basketball program. He also assisted Bourgeois with football. When the two schools combined in 1969, Bourgeous left. Conlin became Brother Martin’s first head football coach. So, that’s how Conlin’s legend began. Andy Russo, moved from head basketball coach at St. Aloysius to Brother Martin.
The decision to add athletics sparked new development on Elysian Fields. Cor Jesu built the massive gymnasium building. Brother Martin later named the gym for Coach Conlin.
Sugar Bowl New Orleans 1969 featured Arkansas v. Georgia.
Sugar Bowl New Orleans 1969
Advertising graphic for the 1969 edition of the Sugar Bowl. Arkansas played Georgia on January 1, 1969, in the Sugar Bowl. The teams played in Tulane Stadium. Georgia lost, 2 to 6.
Origins of the Sugar Bowl
By the 1930s, two of the four “original” bowl games played. The Tournament of Roses parade organization added a football game in 1902. So, in 1926, the city of Miami added football to New Year’s. Miami held the “Fiesta of the American Tropics.” The name later changed to the “Palm Festival.” The football game was dubbed the “Orange Bowl.”
While Pasadena and Miami started early, New Orleans was not to be upstaged. Discussions about holding a New Year’s football game in New Orleans began after the second Orange Bowl in 1927. It took until 1935 for the game to come together. So, the festival and game became the “Sugar Bowl.”
Why Sugar Bowl?
The New Orleans Mid-Winter Sports Association chose “Sugar” for their “Bowl.” While this seems obvious, there was more to it. Given the region’s relationship with sugar cane farming, it makes sense. So, it looks like a no-brainer. Additionally, there was a specific connection between sugar and Tulane University, the site of the game. The Foucher Plantation became Tulane University in 1871. Etienne de Bore, Paul Foucher’s father-in-law, successfully granulated sugar on the plantation.
The Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl stadiums bear the names of their signature events. Tulane Stadium provided the 100 yards for the Sugar Bowl. The university built the stadium in 1926. The stadium retained the school’s name. So, Tulane hosted the game from 1935 until 1975. The game moved to the Louisiana Superdome in 1976. The Sugar Bowl calls the Superdome home to this day. There was one exception. The city of Atlanta offered the Georgia Dome for the 2006 game. So, New Orleans struggled throughout the Fall of 2005, with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The city was unable to put on a major event in January, 2006. So, Atlanta stepped up, and the game returned to the Superdome the following year.
The caption for this graphic reads:
B&W photo, January 1, 1969. Graphic advertisement for the annual Sugar Bowl Football Classic in New Orleans, La. Written on photo: The New Year’s Day game will pit Arkansas and Georgia in the 1p.m. contest at the 83,000 seat Sugar Bowl Stadium (Final score: Arkansas, 6- Georgia, 2).
The record for this graphic includes no mention of where it was published. The State Library of Louisiana owns the original.
Sugar Bowl 2021
The Allstate Sugar Bowl doubles as a College Football Playoff semi-final game in 2021.
Happy New Year!
Liberty Bowl 1970 – Tulane
Liberty Bowl 1970
Program from the 12th Liberty Bowl, played on December 12, 1970. Tulane (8-4) defeated Colorado (6-5). 17-3. Tulane was an Independent at this time. The game took place at Memphis Memorial Stadium in Memphis, TN. It was Tulane’s fourth bowl appearance, and the first since the 1939 Sugar Bowl. The Green Wave scored two touchdowns and a field goal in their winning effort.
Tulane was considered the underdog for Liberty Bowl 1970. The point spread was Colorado -14. The game was 3-3 at halftime. Tulane ran back the second half kickoff 66 yards. Three plays later, they were in the house. Another touchdown in the fourth quarter made the score 17-3.
Tulane Football 1970
In a recap article published earlier this year, Tulane recapped the 1970 season. It had been dubbed the “Year of the Green”
Seniors Rick Kingrea, Mike Walker and David Abercrombie captained the 1970 team. The defense returned 10 starters from 1969 and Paul Ellis, Joe Bullard and David Hebert formed a secondary that picked off a school-record 28 passes on what was to be one of the Green Wave’s all-time great defensive units. Offensively, Abercrombie set a school record with 246 yards rushing against North Carolina State on his way to 993 yards rushing. Through the air, quarterback Mike Walker and receiver Steve Barrios connected on some big plays, as Walker set a season record for yards per completion and Barrios set a season record for yards per catch.
Kingrea later went on to the NFL. He played for the Cleveland Browns (1971-72), the Buffalo Bills (1973), and the New Orleans Saints (1973-1978).
Tulane lost to LSU that season. Tigers fans naturally lorded that over the Green Wave, in spite of their success in Memphis.
At the time, Tulane played football as an Independent. They were members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) from 1932-1965. The school joined Conference USA (C-USA) in 1996. They left C-USA in 2014 and are now members of The American Conference.
Fortier High School football – FNL
The Alcee Fortier High School football, 1940s
Fortier High School Football
This is a Franck Studios photo of a football team from Alcee Fortier High School. I’m thinking this is from the 1940s rather than the 1950s, but there’s so little to go on in terms of identification. They look like your basic football team from the time before integration.
Alcee Fortier High School
Fortier High School, on Freret and Nashville, Uptown. The facility is now Lusher High School.
The school opened in 1931. Fortier occupied the Uptown block bounded by Freret, Joseph, Loyola, and Nashville, The main entrance fronted Freret Street. Fortier opened as an all-boys, all-white school. It integrated as part of the school district’s plan, in 1961. The student body lost lost white students steadily through the 1960s and 1970s, due to white flight.
Fortier offered German language classes prior to World War II. It was one of the few schools in the city that taught the language.
Fortier declined dramatically in quality in the 1990s. By the early 2000s, it was rated as one of the worst schools in the city. The Louisiana Legislature pointed to schools like Fortier and demanded changes. They created the Recovery School District. The state tasked RSD with taking over public schools in Orleans Parish. They believed the Orleans Parish School Board could not handle the job any longer.
Within a year of the RSD’s creation, Hurricane Katrina struck. The storm’s aftermath changed all the plans for public schools. RSD permanently closed many schools. Fortier was one of them. RSD authorized charter schools across the city. Those new schools occupied the buildings of many older, failing schools.
Lusher High School
Lusher Elementary School opened on Willow Street in Carrollton in 1917. The school board expanded Lusher, opening a middle school, in 1990. The middle school used the old Carrollton Courthouse. That building housed Benjamin Franklin High School until that school moved to the University of New Orleans campus.
Lusher Elementary and Middle converted to a charter school in the wake of Katrina. The community planned a high school, going back to 2003. The charter enabled them to move on those plans. They opened the Fortier Campus as Lusher High School in 2006.