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Julia Street

WITH POYDRAS THE PARROT A MONTHLY PURSUIT OF ANSWERS TO ETERNAL QUESTIONS

Alexander Doyle’s equestrian statue of Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard in front of City Park.

Dear Julia and Poydras:
Recently I was stopped at the traffic light at North Carrollton and Esplanade avenues and glanced at the statue in the circle in front of the entrance to City Park. The inscription on the base reads Gen. G. T. Beauregard. Wasn’t Gen. Beauregard’s first name Pierre? Is this an error? If so, why has it not been corrected?
I feel sure the head of the general must be one of Poydras’ perches.
Anthony J. Clesi Jr.
New Orleans


Anthony, Poydras avoids the General’s head ever since the time he tried to do his pilates stretches up there, lost his balance and fell. He wasn’t hurt but was humiliated by the pigeons.
You are correct that the full name of the man who is honored by Alexander Doyle’s equestrian statue in front of City Park was Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard. The missing “Pierre,” however, is no error. During his military service, Beauregard himself omitted the Pierre from his name, often signing correspondence as G.T. Beauregard. The name the Albert Weiblen Marble & Granite Company engraved on the memorial pedestal reflects what the honoree called himself throughout his adult life.


Dear Julia,
As a child in the 1950s I seem to remember that there were palm trees all along either Canal Boulevard or West End Boulevard, and a very hard freeze killed all the trees. Was this the case?
The palm trees lining Canal Street are beautiful. What kind are they and are they cold-hardy?
Kathleen Klein Bohlinger
Hammond


New Orleans had some bad freezes during the late 1950s but the killing freeze that wiped out many of the city’s mature palm trees happened in ’62. The city administration certainly thought that particular freeze to be notable; the City Archives has some ’62 film footage of city crews removing frozen palm trees from neutral grounds.
Proposed as part of a pre-Katrina beautification project, Canal Street’s new Madjool date palms are controversial. It remains to be seen how these costly North African natives will fare when New Orleans next experiences a severe and extended freeze.


Dear Julia and Poydras,
You are my last hope!
A company called Doors Incorporated in Westwego made the best-ever furniture scratch remover and polish called Wipe. I have hoarded the last drops in my small bottle for a decade at least; now it’s empty and I can’t find the product anywhere. Doors Incorporated doesn’t seem to exist anymore and no one else is making the product. Or are they?
Mary Ann Sternberg
Baton Rouge (formerly of New Orleans)


Are you absolutely sure about the name? I have looked through suburban city directories from 1979 to 2000 and found no trace of a Westwego firm called Doors Incorporated. Searching for a product called “Wipe” also came up empty because so many furniture products are marketed as some form of chemical-saturated disposable cloth or paper towel. Do any readers recall this product?

Dear Julia:
Re: Question from Rose Berzat printed in the October 2008 issue.
Yes there certainly was a [Halloween] parade in the late 1990s, which paraded for one year on the Endymion route. I caught this parade on Canal Street the weekend before Halloween. It was a night parade – riders were dressed as ghouls, goblins and in Halloween costumes, floats were lighted and in Halloween themes. Throws included krewe embossed POGs, a paper disc playing game popular at the time, as well as mini pumpkins.
Z. Dieterich
New Orleans


You are absolutely right. Founded by Walter Boasso, Lee Ascani and others, the parade was called Spirits of Nemesis. Its sole appearance was in October 1995, when it hit the streets of downtown, Mid-City and Lakeview with the theme “Stars of the Silver Scream.” In contrast to Mardi Gras organizations, Spirits of Nemesis didn’t call itself a krewe and didn’t have a royal court. Featuring hand-painted floats from the Blain Kern studios, the parade began at City Park Avenue and Marconi Drive and ended at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. In addition to the throws you mentioned, the group also tossed tombstone medallion beads and candy. Anyone catching a special Dracula POG could cash it in for a $1 discount at a haunted house sponsored by the Blood Center for Southeast Louisiana.

Dear Julia,
Where is the house that was used for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?
Loretta Hudson
Ft. Worth, Texas


His adopted home is a rambling Garden District house, located at 2707 Coliseum St. It has been in the Nolan family for generations. Previous owners have included Canadian-born architect William T. Nolan and his son, architect Ulisse Nolan. In 1910, the elder William T. Nolan designed Sacred Heart Parish’s parochial school in Mid-City, on Canal Street between Lopez and Rendon streets.

 

Win a Court of Two Sisters Jazz Brunch or a night at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel
Here’s a chance to stay at an elegant local hotel, or to eat, drink and listen to music, and have your curiosity satiated all at once. Send Julia a question. If we use it, you’ll be eligible for a monthly drawing for one of two Jazz Brunch gift certificates for two at THE COURT OF TWO SISTERS in the Vieux Carré or an overnight stay for two at the elegant Omni Royal Orleans Hotel. To take part, send your question to: Julia Street c/o New Orleans Magazine, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 or e-mail: errol@renpubllc.com. This month’s winners are Anthony J. Celsi Jr., New Orleans; Zachary Dieterich, Gretna; and Kathleen Klein Bohlinger, Hammond.

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