JULIA STREET WITH POYDRAS THE PARROT

A MONTHLY PURSUIT OF ANSWERS TO ETERNAL QUESTIONS

Menefee Airport was the first airport to operate on the East Bank of the Mississippi River in the New Orleans area. From 1931 through ’33, American Airways, now known as American Airlines, rented the field to fly air mail and passengers from New Orleans to Chicago.

Dear Julia,
A friend once told me that Delta Airlines started in Chalmette. Being that there isn’t even an airport in St. Bernard, this is hard to believe. Could it be possible that “the parish” was once part of aviation’s infancy?

Winston Hendrix
Chalmette


Located across the highway from the Chalmette Monument, Menefee Airport was named for James C. Menefee, an early automotive dealer and aviation promoter. Menefee Airport had connections to a current major airline but it wasn’t Delta; it was American.

Texas Air Transport once used the shelled runways of the Menefee Airport prior to merging with St. Tammany-Gulf Coast Airways to form Southern Air Transport. Southern Air Transport later became part of American Airways, which went on to become the present-day American Airlines.

In the 1930s, Menefee Airport was converted into a Louisiana National Guard rifle range. As a rifle range, it was known as both the Menefee Rifle Range and the Richard W. Leche Range, in honor of Governor Richard W. Leche who dedicated it in March 1938.

Dear Julia,
My only claim to fame is that Andrew Jackson Higgins, the famous PT Boat builder who helped win World War II, was my father-in-law. I was married to Frank O’Conor Higgins, Mr. Higgins’ third son, on July 2, 1936. Is Higgins’ residence, 30 Fern St., included in New Orleans’ tours? It should be.

Corin Foster Higgins Zollinger
Kenner


In the late 1940s, Andrew Jackson Higgins moved from 3105 Prytania St., to Lake Vista, where he set up residence at 30 Tern St. While famous for his landing craft and airplanes, Higgins was also a passionate gardener acclaimed for his extensive collection of roses. In April 1950, only two years before Higgins’ death, the New Orleans Rose Society sponsored a tour of Lake Vista gardens. Included on that tour was Higgins’ Tern Street garden that contained in excess of 500 rose bushes.

I do not believe the house is currently landmarked or featured in tours. Lake Vista is a quiet upscale residential neighborhood with small winding streets suitable only for light vehicular traffic.

Dear Julia and Poydras,
During this year’s Rex Ball, Errol Laborde remarked that many members of the Carnival krewes do not understand the concept behind call-out dancing at balls and should have it explained to them. I am thinking that many people could use some information about it. Since he’s your neighbor, couldn’t Poydras fly over there and get the low down on formal call-out dancing?

Irvin T. Diemer II
Kenner

Irvin, to Poydras a “call-out” is what the police do whenever he is suspected of something, so he shuns the word.
Call-outs of the Carnival type are no longer as common as they once were. At the 1893 Proteus ball, the first four dances of the evening were reserved for masked members. A small number of seats in the parquette at the French Opera House were reserved for ladies who had reserved special invitations entitling them to the reserved seating and call-out dance from an unidentified masker who would then give her a small memento of the occasion. Only after the call-outs were completed would general dancing take place.

The practice of issuing call-outs meant that krewes would assign dances and keep track of who was expected to dance with whom. As some krewes expanded, the necessary record-keeping for call-outs to run smoothly became increasingly more complex, leading some krewes to abandon the custom or decrease its formality. The Meeting of the Courts, however, remains a highly formal occasion at which the recipient of a call-out is expected to adhere to assigned seating and a dance card.

Dear Julia,
On my first visit to New Orleans in the 1970s, I wandered into Hové Perfume shop on Toulouse Street. I was hooked and left with small bottles of assorted scents. My favorite was Tea Olive, a scent I use to this day.

I also started making my own potpourri using oils from Hové.

I think this charming shop had a dirt floor but my memory plays tricks on me at times. I was in the shop last April, now located on Rue Royale. When I asked about the dirt floor on Toulouse, the young woman there looked at me like I was a little kooky. Am I?

Kathryn Murphy
Yorkville, Ill.

Established in the late 1920s, Hové Parfumeur® was originally located at 529 Royal St. until moving, in 1938, to 723 Toulouse St., where it remained for 44 years before moving to its present home in the Dejan House at 824 Royal St.

Nobody but you seems to recall dirt floors at the Toulouse Street location, a property also known as Casa Flinard. During her residence there, Mrs. Alvin Hovey-King elegantly restored the property which, in the 1940s, was included in Spring Fiesta home tours that took care to point out Casa Finard’s original cypress floors and ceilings.

Hello Julia (and Poydras),
New Orleans Magazine ran an article in which the author selected New Orleans’ best hamburgers. Well, they left one out. I am hoping that you can help me find the makers and/or recipe for that long ago hamburger. My aunt, Rubye Cochran, owned a beauty shop on Apple Street when I was a child (during the 1950s), and I spent quite a bit of time there in the summers when my mother and I would go to the city for lengthy visits with Mama’s mama, her sisters and brothers and, of course, my cousins. Patrons having time-consuming procedures done, such as color or perms, would usually be there for lunch, which was usually obtained from a bar/restaurant down Apple Street. I was usually elected to go and get the lunch order. Their poor boys were wonderful, but absolutely nothing could even equal that hamburger. I can still taste and smell it to this day. The place shut down before the beauty salon sang its swan song, and I cannot remember, if I ever knew, the name of it. It was no more than four or five blocks off Carrollton Avenue. I will be forever grateful if you can locate the owners, managers, whomever, of the bar and the recipe for the hamburger.

Jan (Rawls) James
Evergreen


Your aunt’s beauty parlor was the Joy Beauty Salon at 8313 Apple St., between Dante and Cambronne streets, but I was unable to determine which of several possible Apple Street businesses may have produced those hamburgers you so fondly remember. My hunch is that you might be recalling the Apple Sweet Shop and Restaurant, which was located at 8431 Apple St. It changed hands in the 1950s and, by ’60, was called the Apple Street Sandwich Shop. You could also be thinking about the Apple & Dublin Restaurant and Bar that was located at 8201 Apple St. Other possibilities are Dep’s Bar, at the corner of Cambronne Street and the Bordes Beer Parlor at 8535 Apple St. near Leonidas Street.

As far as locating owners and recipe from your favorite hamburger joint is concerned, I think I should point out that more than half a century has elapsed, and I rather doubt the shop followed an exact recipe. I think you’ll just have to cherish those luscious memories.
 

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