The Mardi Gras Runner
Re: Julia column. April 2011 issue.
Just finished reading Julia’s article in the latest edition of New Orleans Magazine. A gentleman asked about the “Dr. Nut Runner” in front of the parades; Julia responded she wasn’t aware of such. Just wanted to let her know that I do remember a gentleman in his 70s or 80s who wore white shorts, a white tank top and white tennis shoes; he was small in structure. Not sure, but think his tank top was imprinted with Dr. Nut. He ran in front of the Krewe of Carrollton parade on Carrollton Avenue for many years – for sure in the 1950s, possibly earlier as well. I don’t remember his name but I think he lived in the Carrollton section of town. I can see him running as if it was today. My husband knew his name because he grew up in Carrollton, but he’s deceased.
Reply: We have heard that the man wore a sign, making reference to an age, that said “Life Begins at ______,” though no one recalls exactly what age he mentioned; 70? 80? If anyone remembers and has more information, please let us know.
Carnival of the Memory
Re: “How Carnival Has Changed,” Inside column by Errol Laborde. February 2011 issue.
Yes, Carnival has changed. I’m 64 years old. I grew up on Jefferson Avenue. The Monday night before Fat Tuesday my family would walk to Freret Street, which was only two blocks from my house, and watch the Freret parade. I can remember going with my good friend, Ronnie Forman, and standing for what seemed forever for those weeknight parades. Babylon and Hermes were always late. I loved Iris – such a beautiful ladies parade. Thoth, Venus, Mid-City, Carrollton, Okeanos – so much fun. Then came Rex. The Rubenstein family would always invite us to watch Rex and the truck parades from their balcony; my dad Rabbi Leo Bergman knew many members of Rex, and I would always stand next to him. We would go home with loads of beads. Remember those glass ones? I would always end up cutting myself on those things. I live in New Iberia now. I have been back several times for Carnival, and it’s OK. My kids and wife love it but nothing can ever come close to those Carnivals when I was a kid growing up in New Orleans.