A Bit of History

OK. I have this bad habit of leaving groups of tabs open in my web browser so that I can come back to them and either read them or make note of them for future reference.

Then, I never read them and end up just closing the browser and forgetting about them all completely. Or I make note of them in my weblog, since that is after all what weblogs are for. At least they used to be before they became self published magazines of various and/or lifestyle diaries.

Point being, here are some open tabs I want to save which I came across while looking up New Orleans history…

Here’s the History of the Krewe of Rex. I found it doing image searches of Old New Orleans, which included the one seen to the left right here. Whenever I do Mardi Gras, I make it a point to go to Rex and get lots of cheap plastic beads and other assorted junk from them. I couldn’t live without it.

Louisiana Creole, which is the online home of the Louisiana Creole Research Association.

Old New Orleans. I love, love, love this site for the old photos of New Orleans it has on it. Did I mention I love this site?

The same site has old photos of Charity Hospital. My grandmother Lucille graduated from Charity in the early 30’s, married my grandfather who was interning there and worked there a few years before setting off into the world as happy young newlyweds in the Great Depression.

In fact, here is a photo from the ampitheater, where my grandmother one day was a demonstration nurse for Dr. Alton Ochsner, and was extremely nervous. She said he calmed her immediately and was extremely gracious.

Another site on Charity Hospital, this from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Charity is involved in the great debate of what to do with the site since it was closed after Katrina. I think the info might be a bit dated in the site, still, it’s of interest. To me. Here in my little weblog.

More from the National Trust et cetera, on Charity Hospital.

And this is completely interesting. Knowla. It’s a site dedicated to Knowing Louisiana. Here’s a recent article on the Great Flood of 1927, which is always fascinating. Lot’s of great photos, too!

There’s also an article on William Woodward, who is sometimes called the ‘Father of Art in New Orleans’. Who knew? Did you know that? (I didn’t.) And let’s be honest, you didn’t know that either. Did either one of us care about that? Well of course I did. And if I didn’t, you don’t know. Regardless, it’s an interesting article. And I’m glad we’ve cleared this up.

The Past Whispers has a wonderful section on Old New Orleans, with photos.

And that about wraps up all of that.

I’m considering starting up a new section devoted to sharing my thoughts on the matters, since most Catholic bloggers do that, and it does provide insights into what is going on in the world from a Catholic Perspective. Do I have time for that? Not really. But when has that ever stopped me from doing anything before? There are still 24 hours in a day, which is plenty of time to get a lot of things done. We’ll see what God will do.

Tocqueville's Impressions of New Orleans

From the Tocqueville Site comes this report, or translation, or Tocqueville’s impression of the city, from January 1 -3, 1832:

Impressions of New Orleans
Arrival at New Orleans. Forest of ships. Mississippi 300 feet deep. External appearance of the town. Beautiful houses. Huts. Muddy, unpaved streets. Spanish architecture: flat roofs; English; bricks, little doors; French: massive carriage entrances. Population just as mixed. Faces with every shade of color. Language French, English, Spanish, Creole. General French look, but all the same notices and commercial announcements mostly in English. Industrial and commercial world American. Visit to Mr. Mazureau.
We fall into the midst of children, sweets and toys. To the theater in the evening. Le Macon. Strange scene presented by the auditorium: dress circle, white; upper circle grey. Colored women very pretty. White ones among them, but a trace of African blood. Gallery black. Stalls: we felt we were in France; noisy, blustering, bustling, gossiping, and a thousand leagues from the United States. We left at 10 o’clock. Ball of the quadroons. Strange sight: all the men white, all the women colored or at least with African blood.

Only link produced by immorality between the two races. A sort of bazaar. Colored women destined in a way by the law to concubinage. Incredible laxity of morals. Mothers, young children, children at the ball. Yet another fatal consequence of slavery. Multitude of colored people at New Orleans. Small number in the North. Why?

Why of all the European races in the New World is the English race the one that has most preserved the purity of its blood, and has mixed the least with the native peoples? Apart from the strong reasons depending on national character and temperament, there is special cause for the difference. Spanish America was peopled by adventurers drawn by thirst for gold, who, transplanted alone to the other side of the Atlantic, found themselves in some sort forced to contract unions with the women of the people of the land where they were living. The English colonies were peopled by men who escaped from their country from reasons of religious zeal, and whose object in coming to the New World was to live there cultivating the land. They came with their wives and children, and could form a complete society on the spot.

(Tocqueville, p.165)

The Gift of Music

One of my friends is constantly berating me for not knowing the words to popular R&B and rock tunes. What can I say? Here are some of the ways I spend my listening time…

Awesome video of Horowitz playing Rachmaninoff.

And a fun (and awesome) video of Martha Argerich playing Prokofiev. She’s so beautiful to listen to, it’s actually distracting watching her play, if not completely amazing.

In fact, here is a recording of her as a child…

Oh my! Only 7 years old! I was gazing at the piano longingly at that age, wondering how to play “Doe a Dear.”

And this is certainly masterful. What can I say, I’m a fan.


Buying American For Christmas

This is an e-mail going around, with a great idea. Why buy cheaply produced overseas stuff, when we can give American goods and services instead?

Great point.

Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced
Goods –merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.

This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands.
Yes there is!

It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local diner. Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.
Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine.

THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list — post it to discussion groups — throw up a post on Craigs list in the Rants and Raves section in your city — send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that what Christmas is about?

Our Fair

Just in time for cooler weather, here are some of the Photos from the Fair!

The Chicken Lady

Ansel Adams I’m not.

at the fair

But what can I say? I don’t live anywhere near Yosemite and all it’s natural splendor (though I’d love to spend as much time there as Ansel Adams did.)

But I do live here, where we have great fairs!

at the fair

It was a lot of fun.

at the fair

We all had a beautiful time.

at the fair

I’ll have to reorganize the gallery at some point in the coming week; I wanted to post the pictures for our fair workers, but I’m sure someone will say “What in the world is my picture doing on the internet!?”. But seriously, it’s 2011 already!

So head on over and check out our fair. It’s a great blessing to the community here, and worlds of fun!

Fr. Kenneth Allen