From the point of the Newman Bandstand in Audubon Park all the way to the zoo, it appears that there’s a long corridor of very old oaks. When and why was that corridor of oaks planted?


Andy Jacoby
New Orleans

The double line of century-old oaks is a living memorial to young local men who made the “ultimate sacrifice” during World War I. Officially known as the Memorial Live Oak Grove, it was dedicated on July 4, 1919, only eight months after war ended. About 200 people, most of them relatives of the 62 men in whose honor and memory the five-year-old oaks had been planted the previous spring, gathered at dusk that day for the dedication ceremony. Audubon Park Commission President Dr. William Scheppegrell explained that, whereas buildings and monuments would within 50 to 100 years, deteriorate from age and weathering, the oak grove would become more imposing and beautiful as the long-lived trees matured. The park president also read for the occasion attorney Rixford Lincoln’s poem “The Audubon Park Memorial Live Oak Grove.”

Nearly a century later, the memory of the grove’s purpose has faded and the names and lives connected with each tree largely forgotten by posterity. Below is the list of those honored at the grove’s 1919 dedication:

1st Lieut. Charles deV. Allain (1886-1918), Pvt. Harold Joseph Alexander (1895-1918), Capt. George W. Anderson, Jr. (1886-1918), Sgt. Charles L. Baudry (1891-1918), Pvt. Maxwell Block (1889-1918), Pvt. Philip S. Bowling (1885-1918), Pvt. Donald Bradburn (1892-1918), Pvt. A. Oscar Browne (1898-1918), Capt. A. C. Callender (1893-1918), Pvt. Leon Clausner (1894-1918), 1st Lieut. G. P. Cole (1890-1918), Pvt. A. L. Cronenburg (1897-1918), Pvt. Bernard J. Daly (1893-1918), Pvt. William C. Devitt (1891-1918), Capt. A. A. Diettel (1888-1918), Pvt. A. B. Doheny (1895-1918), Lieut. David J. Ewing (1891-1918), Corp. John J. Farrelly (1896-1918), Pvt. George Gassenberger (1900-1918), Corp. Thomas A. Gragard (1891-1918), J. Vernon Goldsberry (d. 1918), Pvt. R. L. Guilbeau (1888-1918), Pvt. John A. Hanmer (1889-1918), Pvt. E. J. Harrison (1892-1918), Pvt. Henry J. Haydel (1898-1918), Corp. S. Hellman (1896-1918), Pvt. Alexander Hoffman (1894-1918), Pvt. Prentiss M. Johnson (1891-1918), Pvt. Forest Johnson (1897-1918), Pvt. John J. Kelly (1888-1918), Pvt. Arthur Kennedy (1894-1918), Pvt. Joseph Robert Larm (1890-1918), Pvt. P. J. Manning (1888-1918), Pvt. G. C. Martin (1900-1918), Pvt. F. J. Miguez (1887-1918), Sgt. E. F. Miller (1888-1918), Sgt. E. D. Moore (1899-1918), Pvt. J. F. Newitt (1894-1918), Lieut. Robert W. Nolte (1892-1918), Pvt. P. A. Oubre (1890-1918), Sgt. John A. Perelli (1895-1918), 1st Lieut. T. J. Powell (1883-1918), Pvt. James. Price (1876-1918), Corp. C. L. Putnam (1895-1918), Pvt. H. J. Remondet (1893-1918), Corp. L. R. Rollins (1897-1918), Pvt. S. E. Rollins (1892-1918), Pvt. William A. Roper (1897-1918), Pvt. J. Sanchez (1894-1918), Pvt. R. J. Schaefer (1897-1918), Pvt. W. J. Schutzmann (1897-1918), Pvt. J. A. Stanton (1897-1918), Sgt. Michael J. Stiller (1895-1918), Pvt. T. J. Sturges (1891-1918), Pvt. M. C. Suarez (1897-1918), Pvt. R. J. Titus (1895-1918), Pvt. A. B. Vautrain (1886-1918), Pvt. L. C. Watermeier (1897-1918), Sgt. D. W. Wiedman (1895-1918), Sgt. A. F. Williams (1891-1918), Pvt. Charles. F. Young (d. 1918), Sgt. J. C. Zittmann (1893-1918)

Dear Julia,
Back in the early days of the Greater New Orleans Mississippi River Bridge, there were small signs that said “Hubba Hubba!” Those signs are now long-gone but do you remember them? Do you know if they were official signage or just something somebody put up there?

Cynthia Carol

Yes, I remember them well, but the spelling was different than you recall. “Hubba-Hubba” meant something entirely different – a sort of linguistic wolf-whistle.

The signs actually read “Huba-Huba!” and they were enough of an oddity to attract the attention of newspapers throughout the country when the Mississippi River Bridge Authority’s executive director, Charles Macaulay, installed them as a traffic control aid in late 1965. Motorists had been slowing down on the curved incline approaching the main span, causing significant delays. Bridge officials hoped to remedy the problem by encouraging people to drive at the posted speed limit.

Macaulay had lived in Occupied Japan after World War II and was familiar with Japanese and military slang. The expression “Huba-Huba,” with one “b,” meant “hurry up.” Macaulay thought post-war Japanese slang sounded friendlier and more polite than ordinary signage admonishing drivers to observe, but not exceed, the posted speed limit.

Dear Julia,
Have you every heard of Grandma Powder? Was it a local product? What exactly was it? It sounds like something used in a voodoo ceremony.

Steve Felix

Relax. Grandma Powder was just a national brand of soap powder. The Globe Soap Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, produced Grandma’s Borax Powdered Soap, which was quite popular here between the 1900s and ’40s. It was used not only for laundry, but also for general scrubbing and cleaning.

Although no actual grandmas were harmed in the production of Grandma’s Borax Powdered Soap, customers were encouraged to engage in headhunting – cutting the grandma heads off the soap labels and turning them in for credit towards the purchase of items offered in the Globe Soap Company’s premium catalog. For instance, in 1909, the Globe Soap Company offered its customers a service of six Wild Rose pattern silver-plated teaspoons in exchange for 120 grandma heads or 60 Pearl Soap wrappers.