How did Magazine Street get its name?
Lots of cities have streets named for famous people, famous places, or trees and flowers. We have those, too, but we also have streets named for ordinary things, like a warehouse. The folks who got to name the streets in New Orleans' first subdivision -- Faubourg Ste. Marie -- were Bertrand and Marie Gravier. They began their development -- first called Ville Gravier -- in 1788, and many of the streets were named after such landmarks as common and camp. Magazine Street was named for the magazin or almazon, a warehouse that Spanish Gov. Esteban Rodriguez Miro built to store Gen. James Wilkinson's Kentucky products.
In 1877, General Wilkinson, a veteran of the American Revolution, made a highly controversial trip to New Orleans. Americans were not allowed to trade in New Orleans at that time, but Wilkinson managed to persuade Gov. Miro to allow Kentucky to have a monopoly over trade on the Mississippi River. Wilkinson himself was named as the official agent. A warehouse was built, and a street was named after it.
I came across an article in Sports Illustrated that included a story about men who broke the color barrier in college football in the South. In the article, there was mention of a black Drake University running back who probably was on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy until an accident forced him to sit out two games and thus finish fourth in the voting that year. That player's name was Johnny Bright. Is this the same Johnny Bright that the playground in Jefferson Parish is named after?
Displaced in Texas
No, the gentleman for whom the playground is named was not the Johnny Bright who almost won the Heisman Trophy. He was, instead, the night supervisor at Metairie Playground for many years. When the new playground on Cleary opened in 1965, he was honored for his dedication to the youth of Jefferson Parish.
With all the rebuilding activities, I have noticed a trend that I would like to ask you about. Many porch ceilings in the city are painted light blue. I have heard a few different explanations such as the blue color deters birds from nesting or that it keeps spiders from building webs. I'd like your opinion on the matter.
I must admit I am partial to light blue. It matches my eyes, but then so does red sometimes. And, of course, I love the purple, green and gold of Mardi Gras. And most of the time I've been proud to wear the Saints' black and gold. Oops! You aren't asking me about my opinion about colors, are you?
Painting porch ceilings light blue, primarily a Southern detail, does seem to deter critters like birds and spiders, and some folks believe that it also repels mosquitoes. In some parts of the South, folklore has it that the color has been referred to as "haint blue," or "spirit blue," because it keeps spirits (haunts or haints) away from the front door.
Did you know that a light blue ceiling tends to discourage wasps? Perhaps they're not too bright and think the light blue ceiling is the sky. I know of someone who performed an experiment to prove this theory. He painted one-half of the porch ceiling white and the other half light blue. Several wasps, also called mud-daubers, built their brownish-red mud nests on the white side, but the blue side was disdained. So there, you go. Scientific proof! Hey Blake,
My wife and I run along Bayou St. John most mornings and we see a great variety of fish jumping out of the water. They tend to do two or three jumps, wait a little bit and then do it again. WhatÕs up with the flying fish? Jimmy Fahrenholtz and Pam Butler Dear Jimmy and Pam, Bayou St. John is home to bass, catfish, and perch, and lots of them like to jump. Sometimes they jump to catch insects they spot on the surface of the water or to avoid a predator. Some jump to dislodge external parasites.