The Editor’s Room

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…

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…

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…

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…

Midnight Trains

  *This article originally published as Laborde's editor's note in the January/February 2021 issue of Louisiana Life Magazine    Let us pause a moment to consider midnight trains: Winston Hall is a Shreveport musician, song writer and music history buff.…

Some Good News About Carnival – Finally

  So far this season, finding good news about Carnival has been about as easy as trying to catch a Zulu coconut in a crowd, but every so often circumstances take a fortunate bounce in our direction. Challenging situations sometimes…

The Presidency and New Orleans

  Joe Biden once spoke at UNO. I know because I was there. As I recall he spoke in the University Center's auditorium. The room was maybe half full, which was not bad considering that all that Biden was at…

King Cakes in the COVID Era

  I suspect that this is going to be a good year for king cake sales, BUT there is also going to be a major crisis over the allocation of responsibility: In other words, who gets the baby now? To…

Bonfires on the Levee – The True Story

  Because of COVID, Papa Noel will be on his own this Christmas Eve as he approaches Louisiana’s river parishes. We all know that the reason folks in St. James, and other river parishes, build bonfires on the night before…

Carnival Denied: Learning From the "No Call Bowl"

  For the first crisis, the enemy could not see; for the current crisis, we cannot see the enemy. Last time we were body-slammed as a society was due to a sight-impaired referee whose failure to see what the rest…

Facing Polio: When The Vaccines Arrived

  A relative recalls the day in the ‘60s when he was taken to the gym at St. Dominic’s school. There, a nurse carried around a tray filled with small cups; each cup contained a sugar cube. For kids already…

Carnival's Choices: Harder and Harder

Imagine that you want to have a backyard barbecue but before you can you have to get the approvals of the city. An inspector visits, studies the situation, and after consultation issues a report. "Good news," he says, "you can…

Sky In The Eye

  Pub Note: Errol Laborde’s Blog, the Editor’s Room, recently won First Place in the News Blog category at the Press Club of New Orleans’ annual awards competition. This was the third time that Laborde has won that award.  …

Gerald Ford and Me

  I had just picked up a scoop from an undisclosed source and placed it in my mental file. The scoop was that President Richard Nixon had reluctantly agreed to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Watergate scandal. Nixon…

Lake Charles: Town, Target and Tune

  Have you ever had a song keep rerunning in your mind? That’s happened to me lately. The song is by Louisianian Lucinda Williams who sings a bluesy, gravelly, gutsy style of country music. The song, which was released in…

Chief In State

  A friend who was in a high school band the day President John Kennedy came to New Orleans (May 4, 1962) recalled the excitement. As the motorcade wound its way up St. Charles Avenue, the band director looked over…

A Presidential Story: When Power Eludes

  Election years remind me of a friend who tells the story of once going camping with a buddy at Big Bend National Park in Southwest Texas. The year was 1970 and all was quite except for the squawks of…

Redirecting The Swoosh

  We need to talk. Seriously. New Orleans is heading toward big trouble and it is going to take we citizens to save it. Last week, LSU economist Loren Scott delivered his annual Louisiana Economic Outlook address. Usually the speech is…

Why We Need Football

  I have come to realize, in this terrible year, what medical science has probably known all along but has been too shy to say: We all need football. Even those who do not like the game are benefitted by…

Morgus The Magnificent: Lessons Learned

  Last week's news of the death of Morgus the Magnificent raises a question: Is it indeed possible for Morgus to have died? He spent so much of his life working on inventions to better the world we would have…

Katrina: As The Storm Approached

  On the evening of Aug. 26, 2005, the Saints played a pre-season game against the Baltimore Ravens in the Superdome. The Saints had split the first two preseason games including an impressive win on the road against the New…

Distant Drums: Hopes and Concerns for Carnival

  Carnival parades have been threatened by external crises before. In 1979, all the parades in New Orleans were cancelled because of a strike by the city’s police. Some of the krewes, including most notably Endymion, marched in Jefferson Parish…

Katrina's 15th vs. COVID-19

  This year is going to be different. Each August 29 as we reach another anniversary, this time the 15th, we remember Hurricane Katrina and the levees that broke. Heaven knows there is much to recall. Everyone who was living…

Biden vs. Trump: Why We're Here

  For those of you who have strong feelings about a presidential candidate, please chill. This blog does not endorse either Joe Biden or Donald Trump. It is instead a befuddlement about how we got where we are. In an…