Julia Street with Poydras the Parrot
THE PURSUIT TO ANSWER ETERNAL QUESTIONS
As a child, I remember every Veterans Day we would go to a veterans monument on Jefferson Highway right by the Huey Long Bridge. My dad was a World War II vet and a member of the American Legion Post 265 on Causeway Boulevard. It was a big deal. I recall lots of veterans being there, military music and placing a wreath on the monument. It has been gone for quite a while now; long before all the new construction on the bridge.
Do you have any idea what happened to this monument or where it is now?
Hope you can clue me in. Thanks for your help,
The monument seems to have been moved several times, but it still exists.
On April 16, 1944, on the grounds of the East Jefferson waterworks at Jefferson Highway and Arnoult Street, a monument honoring servicemen from Jefferson Parish’s 7th Ward, in Old Jefferson, was dedicated. Its pedestal is engraved with the “7th Ward Roll of Honor World War No. 2” and includes the names of 340 7th Ward men who served in the armed forces. Sitting on the pedestal is an open book of stone on which is written the names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. Mr. and Mrs. Harry E. Schwartz, parents of four servicemen, had the honor of unveiling the memorial, which had been made possible with donations from neighborhood families.
The 7th Ward monument later moved to the foot of the Huey P. Long Bridge. In May 1969, American Legion Jefferson Post 267, at Causeway Boulevard and River Road, had expanded and was dedicating a new wing. The Times-Picayune reported on May 22 the dedication would be preceded by “brief memorial services at the 7th Ward Monument at the foot of the Huey P. Long Bridge.”
The 7th Ward Monument’s present home is on the grounds of American Legion Jefferson Post 267, 3001 River Road at Causeway Boulevard. I am happy to report that it’s in an accessible place of honor and is in good condition.
Your column and the New Orleans Magazine have sustained me over the past eight years since Katrina swept me here to Knoxville. As memories are restored through trauma, circumstance and time, two questions surface.
My memory focuses on the 1930s at the Rivoli Theater and the call for children to audition for roles in a neighborhood version of the popular Our Gang Comedies. Perhaps Poydras will remember the scenes being filmed at City Park, but the screen version was never seen. I was just one of the crowd, but it sparked my interest in acting, which leads to my second question.
After graduation I spent some time in community theater with a marvelous, dedicated director, Lionel Addamus. He and his wife, Harriet, volunteered many hours to Crescent City Players productions utilizing the YWCA facility. My first play, A Date With Judy featured the noted Ty Tracy, and Lionel introduced “theater in the round” with Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, but I’ve seen no mention of this early 1950s group in New Orleans theater history.
I promise Poydras a big old Tennessee Moon Pie if he can help you with my memories.
Elizabeth Malm Clemens
Elizabeth, Poydras asks that you donate the promised moon pie to the Knoxville Home for Wayward Cockatoos.
In late May 1940, advertisements in The Times-Picayune proclaimed “Hey Kiddies! Get in the Movies! Be An Actor!!” By filling out an attached entry form and either mailing it to the newspaper or dropping it off at one of eight local United Theatres, kids between the ages of 3 and 14 could take a chance at being selected to “Try out for a Part on One of New Orleans’ All-Talking Gang Comedies.” As you’ll recall, the Rivoli participated in the casting call. Other United Theatres that joined in the effort were the Carrollton, Poplar, Clabon, Grenada, Napoleon, Happyland and the Folly in Algiers.
The Crescent City Players, a local amateur theater group, was organized about 1947. The first production of its ’47-’48 season was the Henry Wood melodrama East Lynne, which was staged at the Jerusalem Temple auditorium, with Jerlent Wadenphful in the leading role.
You are too modest about your involvement with the Crescent City Players and failed to mention that you served as the group’s president for the 1951-’52 season. The season’s first production, staged at the YWCA on Nov. 28 and 29 was Aaron Slick From Punkin Crick. Later in the same theatrical season, Mayor deLesseps S. Morrison proclaimed March ’52 “International Theatre Month.” Buildings and Park Commissioner Victor H. Schiro presented the proclamation to Carl J. Deleuze and L. J. Addamus, manager and director of the Crescent City Players.
I was born and raised in New Orleans and attended Incarnate Word grade school in the Carrollton area and St. Aloysius High School. My wife and I, both New Orleans natives, have lived in Shreveport since Katrina.
My younger sister took dance lessons and the dance school held its revue in the Jerusalem Temple located on St. Charles Avenue at Interstate 10 near Lee Circle.
Would you please inform me of the history of the temple and if there were any Freemason Lodges associated with the temple?
The Jerusalem Temple Building, 1137 St. Charles Ave. at Clio Street was dedicated Dec. 27, 1918. Architects Emil Weil and his associate Sam Stone designed the structure, which was built for the Jerusalem Temple, the local branch of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.), a Masonic fraternity better known as the Shriners.
Although founded by Masons and comprised entirely of Master Masons, the fraternity we now know as Shriners International – a fun-loving group famous for its dedication to philanthropy and children’s healthcare – is a Masonic offshoot. All Shriners must be Master Masons but not all Masons become Shriners. It is for this reason that your question isn’t as simple as it may first appear. The Jerusalem Temple was built for people who were Masons but it wasn’t erected as a Masonic lodge.
The Jerusalem Temple’s massive 1,800-seat auditorium was so popular as an entertainment venue that it’s impossible in this small space to give a comprehensive look at variety of public and private cultural events it hosted. One early cultural highlight of was the Tarrant Series. In the early 1920s, local impresario Robert Hayne Tarrant created a series of low-priced cultural events that brought to the city some of the era’s top classical musicians, opera singers and dancers. Proceeds were donated to the city of New Orleans. You didn’t mention your sister’s dance school, but the stage on which she danced had once been graced by Irene Castle and the great Pavlova – both of whom came to New Orleans to perform in the Tarrant Series.