Was there a Chinese cemetery in New Orleans? In other cities these were separate.
In 1840 the Cypress Grove Cemetery at Canal Street and City Park Avenue was founded, and in this cemetery was the tomb of the Soon On Tong Association. It was dedicated on July 19, 1904, and it was here that local Chinese residents buried their dead. There was a small fireplace in the tomb because the ceremony included the burning of prayers written on paper. The mourners also brought food and drink to the services. However, this burial was not permanent. Eventually, the remains of the deceased were shipped back to China so they could be buried in their homeland. Today this custom is no longer honored.
I hope you don't mind one more question about The Warehouse. It seems I remember a book coming out a few years ago about the history of The Warehouse. I can't remember the name of either the book or the author and have had no luck finding it in local bookstores. Being a classical rock music fan who was too young to attend any concerts there, I would be fascinated to read about its history. Any clues where I can find or order this book?
How ironic. "Dear John" letters traditionally bring disappointing news, and I'm afraid this one does, too. In 2000, A Warehouse -- that was its name even though everybody called it The Warehouse -- would have celebrated its 30th anniversary. It opened on Jan. 30, 1970. However, New Orleans' premier concert venue didn't last quite that long, closing after a Sept. 10, 1982, performance by the Talking Heads. But what a smashing 12 years they were.
To commemorate the existence of this amazing place, there was indeed a book planned. Stephanie Leff, who spent many nights there and married Beaver Productions' Barry Leff, was collecting anything associated with A Warehouse: historic performance photos, ticket stubs, T-shirts, posters, handbills and such. She said, "If you are 40-plus and grew up in New Orleans, The Warehouse is where you saw your first show. In the '70s, it was a part of the experience of growing up. It's part of local history." It was her plan to create a coffee-table book on the venue, and folks were invited to send contributions to be photographed and included.
But here's the bad news, John. The book was never published. But, who knows? Maybe we'll get lucky. In the meantime, I can make a suggestion for a rock fan like you. Many of the photos during A Warehouse's existence were taken by New Orleans photographer Sidney Smith. He has a Web site you might enjoy: www.rockstarphotos.net.
It's been years since I lived in New Orleans, but my heart remains there, soaking in gumbo. I'm up in Connecticut now, but I keep up online. One thing has nagged me for years: Who is Johnny White? What's his story?
Features Writer, The Day
New London, Conn.
I know you must regularly play "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?"
Johnny White was a popular French Quarter bar owner and serious racehorse lover who opened his first bar, The Annex -- a "hole in the wall" -- on St. Peter Street in 1966. This led to the many more French Quarter hangouts that would bear his name: Original Johnny White's bar at 733 St. Peter St., the White House bar at 718 Bourbon St., and Johnny White's Sports Bar at 720 Bourbon St.
He was a former U.S. Marine Corps captain who had served in World War II and the Korean War. He was also a physical education teacher for the Orleans Parish School System and a high school football coach.
Johnny died of cancer at age 72 on July 26, 1993. Soon after his death, a friend of his fulfilled one of his last requests. Terry Brasch rented a plane and scattered Johnny's ashes into the wind. Half of them went out over the French Quarter and the other half over the Fair Grounds racetrack.
Shannon White, Johnny's daughter, was heir to her father's French Quarter legacy.