A lot is being said about the redeveloping of the area in and around the Audubon Park greenhouse. In the back of the greenhouse was a graveyard. What is the shelter-like building in that area? Did it have something to do with burial, as in a chapel or like structure? Jimmy Fiegler
Many beautiful trees, bushes, and flowers have been planted in Audubon Park over the years, and the good folks at the Audubon Institute are always working on something new to make the park even more wonderful. But there has never been any digging done in order to plant people!
The area behind the greenhouse and the lagoon, across from the Newman Bandstand is not, nor has it ever been, a graveyard -- except maybe for squirrels to bury nuts. And the green building you see is just a storehouse.
Around 20 years ago boats cruised up and down the lagoon, along with the popular swan boats that took generations for a pleasant summer's ride. The bandstand was built in the 1920s, and the area behind it was a dock for the motorized swan boats. There were also bicycles you could rent to pedal around for a little exercise. The building across from the lagoon served as a place to keep the boats and the bikes, so it became known as the "boat and bike building." Sorry that I can't tell you sad stories about lost loved ones whose families gathered under the oaks for a final farewell.
Since you mentioned the construction going on in the area, I can tell you that very soon you will see some remarkable improvements. The lagoon shoreline has been crumbling for a long time because the retaining wall was sinking. Now something is being done to make it easier for people to get to the lagoon to feed the ducks. The Tim Reily family has made a large donation to fix many of the problems and renovate the entire area including much landscaping around the bandstand.
The area will be called "Reily Plaza" and we will be able to walk on circular viewing platforms stretching out into the lagoon about 50 feet. And I can't wait to see the new bronze sculptures that were created by Florida artist Geoffrey Smith. Picture a family of eleven ducks, larger than life, all in formation and looking like they are coming right out of the water.
Although this question is not related to New Orleans, I don't know anyone else to ask. When Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier fought for the heavyweight title, I recall they each were paid millions. In the recent fight between their daughters, I hear each female received about $200,000. Why were the females paid so much less than their fathers, and what are the amounts each fighter was paid?
New Orleans at one time was a major boxing center. The last big fight here was in the Superdome when Muhammad Ali, in a unanimous decision against Leon Spinks, won back his heavyweight title in 1978 for an unprecedented third time.
When Laila Ali fought Jacqui Frazier-Lyde in June, they split a purse of $200,000, a remarkable sum -- one of the largest in the history of women's boxing -- considering their lack of experience. The purse, of course, depends on how many people want to watch the fight and how much they are willing to pay. The fact that they have famous fathers made a big difference.
Ali and Frazier met three times. The first, dubbed The Fight on March 8, 1971, guaranteed each fighter $2.5 million. The victory went to Frazier. In the next encounter on Jan. 28, 1974 -- the "rematch of the century" -- Ali avenged his defeat and each man made around $3 million. The final battle on Oct. 1, 1975 -- the "Thrilla in Manila" which Ali won -- gave the victor $4.5 million and the loser $2 million.
A great deal of money now, these were princely sums back when the daily paper cost a dime, a T-bone steak $1.79, and a new Chevy a mere $4,000.