Ronald Theriot knew there was something special about his wife, Janine, when they met on Grand Isle in 1963. They were both teenagers, and met on vacation. Their first date was on a beach, watching a meteor shower. They married two years later. In this conversation with his daughter, Isabelle, Ronald talked about his wife's love of birthday parties and sewing, and the joy she took in raising her three children.
Eric Murrell has had a long relationship with automobiles. It began as a boy, going to car lots with his grandfather, toting pencil and paper to make notes of car prices and design features. His father, Michael, taught him not only how to drive, but how to assemble the engine parts. His mother, Harriet, knew she was marrying a car buff from the start, but has enjoyed the family passion for automobiles.
Eighty-year-old Samuel Alfonso Scarnato of New Orleans has achieved academic excellence in obtaining a PhD in education. It didn't come easily to a boy growing up in the Depression in western Pennsylvania coal country. He remembers attending a one-room schoolhouse where his eighth-grade class consisted of three students. He was in charge of keeping the classroom fire going in the cold months, and received a dollar a month for his efforts.
John Fontenot has been working at Galatoire's since 1967 when he was in his early 20s. Throughout the decades he's swapped stories and jokes with customers he's gotten to know so well, he knows what drinks they'll be ordering. He has fond memories of Jackie Gleason giving him advice on telling jokes - it's all in the timing.
Dwayne Boudreaux has been at the center of the landmark Circle Food Store in the 7th Ward since he started as manager in 1987. He worked his way into a partnership with owner Herbert Gabriel and eventually took control.
Neil Shapiro's family roots are entwined with the city of New Orleans back to the 1700s. His grandmother could trace her family that far back in the city's history. He's continuing in the antique business his grandparents began in 1899, when goods were bought and sold within the city. That began to change in the 1930s, when European imports started appearing in stores, while local treasures were handed down within families.
Ronald Avila, 27, and his sister, Belinda, 29, honor their cultural ties with their family's ancestry in Honduras. Belinda was born in the United States, while her father studied agronomy at the University of Florida in Gainsville. Ronald was born two years later in Honduras. Their mother later brought them to the U.S., where she encouraged their higher education.
Elizabeth Claudet and her husband, Joseph, sat down with her father, Charles Costello, on March 29 to talk about his experiences while living most of his 96 years in Louisiana. He grew up in DeRidder in western Louisiana, where as a boy he delivered groceries in a cart pulled by a goat.
Martha Ward and Frank Aseron had a long acquaintance. It began in the mid-1970s when she was married and had a daughter, Marlowe. Frank did some carpentry work at her home, and they saw each other around New Orleans for years. She later divorced, and enjoyed her career an anthropology professor at the University of New Orleans. Frank became involved in mortgage banking and construction lending.
Marilyn Barbarin knew from a very early age that she would be a singer. It began when a priest at her school in New Orleans heard her singing in the girls' bathroom, where she was taking an unapproved break from class. But instead of facing punishment, she was taken to a recording session at the now-shuttered Nola Studios.