Before Lakeview, I lived with my extended family, grand-parents, aunts, and uncles in one side of a double-Camel-back house on Palmyra Street located between Prieur and Johnson streets across from my first school, McDonough #11. In the photo below, the two turrets and the wooden fence were not part of the school design when I attended. The playground extended to Johnson Street at the left and on the opposite corner of Prieur Street was Abadie's grocery occupying the first two lower rooms. All the houses in the area were raised on sleeves at a height of about 30 inches. I use to think that the raised purpose was to throw out garbage since there were many surprises to be found beneath the houses.
The 3 items I use to enjoy buying at Abadie's were: Ice Bergs (home-made cube of frozen chocolate or vanilla flavored ice); Grab-Bag (brown bag with surprise toy and sometimes enclosed with a ticket worth a nickle or a quarter); and the Board Lotteries (two kinds, one with a plug pusher or the other with a peel-off sticker -- each provided a chance for candy or some other winning item -- these were a penny a chance).
Grammar and Primary
South Prieur and Palmyra
Brick building, two stories with basement, sixteen classrooms, capacity--647 pupils
Built in 1879
I attended McDonough #11 from Kindergarten through fifth grades. My mother became PTA president for several of those years. Anita Perez was the principal. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Ruth Utley and my worst teacher was a Mrs. Stumpf. Even at that age, I decided who I liked or disliked for peculiar reasons --- I didn't like the way Mrs. Stumpf spoke the King's English. Instead of OIL she said earl -- instead of BOIL it was berl -- and instead of First it was FOIST, etc.
The only two school mates that I recall there were Elaine Antonatas and Ralph Pladeau --- and for some unresolved reasoning --- Elaine attended Southeastern Louisiana College the same time I did, and Ralph was one of my customers many years later when I was in the Computer business
When my mother remarried, we moved to 501 S. Rendon Street near Sacred Heart Church on Canal Street near Jeff Davis Ave. I use to go to Merita Bread on Tulane Ave. to buy stales. Three large clusters of strawberry cinamon cake for a nickle. I also joined the Lone Ranger Club sponsored by Merita Bread. Near Tulane Avenue was Sugarman's Variety Store. I use to buy my caps for my cap gun there.
I continued going to McDonough #11, but by Street Car on Canal Street to get off at Prieur. Warren Easton was just down a few blocks, but I never paid much attention to it. After school I would walk the three blocks to Canal Street to await my mother's arrival to pick up my sister and me from my grand-father's sisters place, Rodriguez's Tamales. Her name was Pina and she would always give me the Bad-Eye.
Sometimes she was nice, I guess my mother would call her to say she was going to be late,and Pina would serve us a cup of Chili with a Tamale and some crackers. In her store, was a rack where Comic Books and other magazines were on display for sale. I was able to abide my time by reading the books, but would always get that Evil Eye staring at me.
Lakeview --- 6105 Milne Street corner of Germain
We moved to Lakeview
when I was about 8 years old and I continued taking Street Cars to McDonough #11
for Fourth and Fifth grades.
Finally, perhaps when my mother gave up her PTA presidency, I was enrolled at Lakeview Elementary School. I was able to walk to school for the next two years,
LAKEVIEW SCHOOL (5951 Milne Blvd, year 1915)
Taking its name from the surrounding neighborhood, the former Lakeview Public School was designed by local architect E.A. Christy, New Orleans’ most prominent municipal architect for 40 years, who also designed Warren Easton, Mc Main, and Rabouin schools. The school embraced many elements of the emerging Craftsman style, including deep eaves, heavy wooden brackets, and wood shingles on the facades.
grades 6 and 7 with my dog Fritz following behind. That dog would stay in the school yard from morning until late afternoon waiting for me to come out. My two teachers were Mrs. Baloney and Mrs. Pecorraro.
(Little did I realize at that time, that I would be a member of the Orleans Parish School Board in later years and held the one vote to keep the school from being demolished)
During those early years, Lakeview was large and sparsely populated and spread out with but few young people in any concentrated area. Most of my years in Lakeview, from age 8 to 16, I don't include 17 to 19 since those were my years at Southeastern Louisiana College in Hammond. One school chum for a number of years was Jerry Schwartz who lived off Harrison on Louis XIVth Street. There were a few more playground mates in that area including Ed Story, Ralph Duncan, Curtis Bonin, Keely, JP, and Lopez. I went to St. Dominick Church when it was on Harrison and Catrina off Milne street, later when mass was served in the Lakeview Theater, and even later when it was in the newly constructed gym, before the Church was ever finally built.
After finishing Elementary School, I enrolled for a half year at Warren Easton Boys Highschool
on Canal Street. Again, I went to school and back by way of Street Car on the West End Line or by Bus on the Canal Blvd. Line. I had a choice -- and sometimes varied it on the return trip home. I remember Mr. De la Oso as my Spanish professor.
Lakeview became a little smaller when I was given a Cushman motor scooter to do the many errands demanded by the growing family of 7 kids and many chores to complete. I was able to get around more frequently to more distant places. Anything less than a mile was considered walking distance. Prior to vehicular conveyance, I would have to walk to the H.G. Hill Store five blocks away and back making sometimes 4 or 5 trips to carry back the grocery items.
Rugby Academy became my next highschool enrollment. It was located on St. Charles Ave. near Napoleon Ave. I was enrolled during the Summer of 1944 so that I could get enough points to skip a half-year grade. Before that Summer, I had completed Lakeview Elementary in Mid-year having completed grade 7B, then entered Warren Easton and completed first half year of Freshman class. A new law eliminated half year grades, requiring that I be set back to repeat my Freshman year, or as my mother insisted, I go to Summer School at Rugby Academy and than begin the next year as a highschool Sophomore. (It worked, so when I started Tulane University I was still 15)
With my skooter, I incurred my first real girl friend, Marilyn,who lived on Filmore and Memphis streets in Lakeview.
During my sleep hours, some of my "Friends" would stealthily take and push my skooter down a block before starting it up for a late night's spree.
After I had 3 accidents on the skooter, at 14, I was able to secretively inherit the use of a 1948 Chevy. I was caught speeding one time and without a driver's license was incarcerated in the "Green Room" at the Sixth Precinct off Metairie Road and the Basin Canal. A very grumpy step-father put up bail.
Lakeview was a great place to grow up in. We never locked the doors. Of course, there was always someone home with enough of us around. There was another pocket of young people that were near Bragg Street and West End Ave. where the Connicks prevailed. Although I dated Jessie a few times, I didn't come to know Harry, Billy, and John until later years. I think there were about 7 or 8 brothers and sisters in all.
Buddy Wolf will always be remembered, he lived around West End Blvd and Harrison. We were swimming in the Basin Canal one Saturday when we "jumped" a watermelon barge. Buddy was a year or two older and heavy set. I cought a rope that became unfastened and I was drawn between two barges which causes a person to be pulled under. All of a sudden a hand grabbed my hair and I felt my brains sift out as I was safely brought back to a secure rope by Buddy. Ever since, I have come to realize that my Spirit Guardians never leave my side. (Too many incidents and strange phenomena that followed)