Author: Errol Laborde

A Royal Ramble

  Our driver was from London. As he made his way toward the city, we talked about the wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that had taken place only a few weeks earlier. I told him that practically all…

Jazz Fest Echoes

Here is a description of what Roy Orbison looked like to me when he performed at the Jazz Fest in 1985: A stick. A black stick on a stage, with a stick band behind it. Oh, and the stage seemed…

Episode 33: Conversation with a Voodoo Priestess

Is Voodoo a religion or is it a way of life? According to Sallie Ann Glassman it is both. Glassman, who travelled to Haiti to study Vodou and to be initiated into the priesthood explains the complexities including the parallels with…

Where Bunnies Roamed

  After a year of experiencing just about any gathering as being “virtual,” we should be craving assemblies that are “actual” even if the congregation is just rabbits. There was a charm about the bunny village on display each year…

Episode 32: Soul and the Holy Spirit

Churches in the Black community are historically known as places where preachers preach with more fervor and where choirs rock the house with hand-clapping joy, hoping for better days. A documentary produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting entitled, “Louisiana’s Black Church,…

Elmers and Merlins: New Orleans' Confection Connection

  When Rite Aid pharmacies first opened in New Orleans in 1997 the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania company already faced a hostile crowd. The chain had bought out locally owned Katz & Besthoff drug stores, affectionally known as “K&B.” The hurt began…

Lenten Legacies

  A buddy of mine in high school once gave up drinking Coke for Lent. He was a big fan of the drink and I knew he would be frequently led into temptation during the 40 Lenten days. I witnessed…

Episode 30: In Search of a Pirate

One of the most powerful men in the history of what is now Louisiana was Jean Lafitte. At his peak, Laffite was a mixture of pirate king, Mafia Don and local hero. For as famous as he was there is…

Zoom Room Zen

  A journalist acquaintance talked about covering a trial recently. Life being the way it is these days he had to watch from his home via Zoom. The trial was very emotional on all sides. He recalled having covered many…

Episode 29: Traveling the Scenic Byways

We know about the interstates and federal highways that lace the state but there is a lot to be learned from exploring the old roads. Louisiana is rich with trails all of which have fascinating stories from the gulf coast…

March! The Month Deserves Better

  March is arguably New Orleans’ best month. Lately it has also been the most picked on. Though there is stiff competition from February and April, March is the culturally richest month, especially toward the middle when St. Patrick’s and…

Pain Perdu’s New Status

At first glance the French breakfast dish pain perdu doesn’t have much to recommend it, especially if you only speak English. The word “pain” is not what one would be looking for in a breakfast selection, and the English name…

COVID and the Cannoli

March 19, 2020 and I craved a cannoli. Actually, I crave a cannoli anytime, but on this afternoon the desire was heightened because the day was the Feast of St. Joseph, patron saint of the Sicilians. There would be a…

Episode 28: A Man and His Movies – Louisiana Stories

Glen Pitre’s first film “Belizaire: the Cajun” (1986) starring Armand Assante was backed by Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. Pitre would go on to have more successes, including “The Scoundrel’s Wife” (2002) starring Tatum O’Neal. Roger Ebert, the late film critic…

Carnival '21: Oaks, Floats and a Joke

  Last week, on Ash Wednesday, we had lunch at Venezia’s on North Carrollton Ave. I was fortunate to be seated in such a way that I could see through the front window across the restaurant. Somewhere between the fettucine…

Episode 27: A Spanish Liquor That Louisiana Saved

Hardly anyone knows it, but the Louisiana-based Sazerac Company has become one of the top liquor brand distributors in the country. Plus, it operates the amazing new Sazerac House museum in New Orleans. Rhiannon Enlil, a historian for the museum,…

Lundi Gras - The Making of a New Old Tradition

  There are some old traditions in Carnival. There are also some traditions thought to be ancient, but really are not. One of the latter is “Lundi Gras.” While the practice of Rex arriving by boat on the day before…

When Rex Met Zulu: A Lundi Gras Evening

  Lundi Gras 1999 had extra excitement to it, at least for those gathered at Riverwalk near the stage at Spanish Plaza where Rex, King of Carnival, and his entourage would soon be arriving. What was different that year was…

S2, Episode 8: The Pussyfooters Party with a Purpose

  Take a trip down the Pussyfooter's parade route with Laura Cayouette, actress and long-time member of the dance krewe. We'll dance our way through the importance of the female dance krewes, how they "party with a purpose" and some…

S2, Episode 7: Krewe du Vieux

  Krewe du Vieux has been making merry in New Orleans for many years. This year, they have adapted to COVID in typically tasteless fashion.    

Vaccine For The Carnival Blues

  Sometimes hard times, such as this year’s Carnival, inspire positive genius. Making its way along the internet is a brilliant parody of “Masquerade,” the stirring song from “Phantom of the Opera.” The parody absorbs the melody; plays with the…

The Best of Carnival

  This weekend would have been the march of the Krewe du Vieux. The rowdy krewe’s theme brilliantly matched the world of COVID:“We’ve got no taste.” No group maximizes tasteless as much as KduV. For all of us who do…