By Louisiana Insider
Louisiana InsiderJun 01, 2023
Episode 136: Robert Mann, Huey Long and LSU
LSU is known for its achievements on the playing field and in the classroom, but before any of that could happen there were political battles and maneuvers to grow the university and to make it nationally prominent. Chief among the maneuverers was Huey Long who, during the seven year span when we he governor then Senator until being assassinated in 1935, made the university a personal cause.
Robert Mann, a historian, author and a political consultant joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about his book, “KINGFISH U: HUEY LONG AND LSU.” More than just telling the story about the evolution of a university, the book provides a fascinating study of the state and its politics.
We will also hear about the time that the LSU student body watched the Tigers play Vanderbilt. Only to do it, Long arranged to ship the students to Nashville by train.
Episode 135: Perique - The "Only in Louisiana" Crop
There is a crop that is grown here in Louisiana that is not found anywhere else in the world. Even in Louisiana it is a rarity sprouting from the ground in only one parish. Perique tobacco has been cultivated in Louisiana for as long as there have been settlers, who learned techniques from the native tribe. The crop grows only in St. James Parish, where Convent is the manor town. Mike Matherne, whose family own one of the 25 perique farms, tells the story about the growth and fermentation of the plant. He joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about perique’s use as a flavorful condiment to mix with other tobaccos used in cigars and pipes.
Why does it only grow in St. James Parish? You will have to listen. Hint: it has to do with what is below the soil.
Episode 134: Café Brulot - Drinking the Devil's Brew
When ordering, one might wonder why the cup in which their coffee is served has an image of the devil on the outside or, especially, why the coffee when poured into a serving bowl is on fire. The real jolt is yet to come as the server ladles Café Brulot into the bedeviled cup. There is a rich history, much tracing back to France, in which ingredients were burnt and mixed with seasonings before being enriched by another liquid. Café Brulot is the most famous example, and few cities do it better and in more different places, than New Orleans.
Author Sue Strachan, who specializes in food, drink and other cultural quirks, joins Executive Editor of Louisiana Life Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about her book, “The Café Brulot.” More than just telling stories of the drink itself, Strachan provides a history of some of the ingredients – such as cloves and oranges – and of restauranteurs and bartenders who popularized the drink.
We will also her about a famous pirate – OK, a privateer – who might have taken a few sips of the burning booze himself.
Episode 133: Exploring Louisiana’s Historically Black Universities
An extended exhibit at the Capitol Park Museum, a division of the Louisiana State Museum, has opened in Baton Rouge to tell the stories of the struggles and successes of the schools. Michael McKnight, Deputy Director of Louisiana State Museums, and Rodneyna Hart, the museum’s director, join Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the history of the HBCU.
Episode 132: Télé-Louisiane – Un Renouveau Français
French is perhaps one of the most beautiful languages. It is also a vital part of Louisiana’s history. Through the effort of some dedicated individuals looking to preserve our culture, we have the opportunity to hear more of the language and various local dialects. Because of the organization Télé-Louisiane, a language revival will also be part of the history of Louisiana. Will McGrew, chief executive officer and co-founder of Télé-Louisiane, and Caitlin Orgeron, the organization’s chief operating officer, join Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about promoting the language through the legislature, video series, the power of social media and more.
Catch their program "La Veillee," a weekly statewide series on Louisiana Public Broadcasting spoken entirely in French and hosted by Orgeron, each Thursday at 7:45 p.m.
Vive la langue!
Episode 131: Chris Thomas King – A Man and His Blues
Chris Thomas King has been close to the blues all his life. His is the son of a legendary blues musician, Tabby Thomas, who operated a blues club in Baton Rouge. King has excelled not only on guitar, but also as a performer whose movie credits include the quirky “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou” and the biofilm “Ray” about Ray Charles in which King also served as a music consultant working with Charles. King joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about his Grammy awards, blues style and most of all his book, “The Blues: The Authentic Narrative of My Music And Culture.”
He also explains why defining the blues might be different than from what you think.
Episode 130: Kouri-Vini - Louisiana's Endangered Creole Language
Kouri-Vini is the name given to Louisiana’s endangered, indigenous Creole language. It is spoken largely in rural south Louisiana by both Louisiana Creoles and Cajuns. Linguist and performer Clif St. Laurent joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about this language that developed in the Colonial era and that still survives.
He also discusses the recently produced “Tambou,” the first film spoken in Kouri-Vini. Hear about the film character’s struggle to save himself and about the efforts to preserve the language.
Episode 129: Adventures with Jambalaya
Here are some questions about our native jambalaya that you might not have thought about, but should:
Is our native jambalaya an offshoot of Spanish paella?
Is seafood jambalaya more of a casserole since jambalaya originated as a meat dish?
These and other questions are pondered by tailgate chef Jay Ducote, who knows so much about the right way to make jambalaya that the state and a seasonings manufacturer pay him to travel the South to do demonstrations at fairs and other outdoor events. Ducote joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the right meats, proper seasonings and appropriate cooking techniques to make one of Louisiana’s great one-pot foods.
We will also learn why sponsor “Slap Ya’ Mama Cajun Products” has that unusual name. (Hint: it has nothing to do with familial violence and everything to do with appreciation.)
Episode 128: Vieux Carré - The Cocktail and the Neighborhood
According to legend, the original cocktail was invented in an apothecary in New Orleans’ Vieux Carré. The neighborhood, with its many restaurants and bars, is such a watering hole for classic drinks it seems only right that there would be an actual cocktail named The Vieux Carré. There is, and it has been around since the 1930's. Though less known than other mixed drinks, it is now having a revival!
John De Mers, an author who specializes in food and drink, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the colorful history of cocktails and especially one that is the title of his new book, “The Vieux Carré.” Published by LSU Press, the book is rich in history and photography.
Oh, and Kelly even reveals what her favorite cocktail is.
Episode 127: The Disease - One Man’s Journey Through a Life with Leprosy
Officially known as “Hansen’s disease” but the world recognizes the jarring, more familiar term “leprosy.” A place in south Louisiana known as Carville was, along with a facility in Hawaii, the national center for the care of patients with the disease. Author Anne Harmon Brett joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell her moving story of being raised by parents who first met at Carville. Based on the memoirs of her father and her own recollections, Brett tells stories of compassion, family loyalty and determination. Brett also discusses the contemporary status of the disease. This is a moving story not to be missed.
Episode 126: Tales of the Crawfish
So, you thought you knew a lot about crawfish. Well, how about this? What global event triggered the interest in boiled crawfish in Louisiana? Sam Irwin, the author of the book “Louisiana Crawfish, A Succulent History of the Cajun Crustacean,” joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell tales of the crawfish including the impact that the critters had on the rice industry, the most productive growing areas and the ongoing debate over "sucking the heads."
Also, Irwin, who is also a jazz musician and historian provides, for the first time ever, a live podcast musical interlude.
Episode 125: Louisianians of the Year - Class of 2023
There is so much talent in Louisiana that selecting finalists for Louisiana Life’s annual Louisianian of the Year issue is one of the magazine’s toughest challenges. But, It was accomplished! And, there are many promising prospects left for the future.
Louisiana Life Editor Melanie Spencer joins Errol Laborde, the magazine’s Executive Editor, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to boast about this year’s list consisting of a woman working to preserve the Houma Indian culture; a champion of preserving the wetlands; a nurse practitioner specializing in sickle cell cases; a teacher who has mastered keeping the attention of students and a Shreveport restaurateur expanding his family’s legacy.
Plus, we will hear why one designee says of her calling, “This is where God wanted me to be.”
Episode 124: Smoked, Southern and Cajun - A Chef's Stories and Techniques
Imagine three great cooking styles served in one place, or written about with recipes in one book. The place is Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse in LaPlace (St. John the Baptist Parish); the book is "Southern and Smoked: Cajun Cooking through the Seasons." Jarred Zeringue, the chef and owner of the smokehouse and the author of the book, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the joys of smoked foods including meats common to the LaPlace area – like andouille and tasso. The book contains stories from his family, lots of recipes, a list of techniques for Cajun cooking and food photography that is a visual feast in itself.
Also, he reveals some of the kitchen’s most only-in-Louisiana creations: smoked boudin and, yes, hogshead cheese, too.
Episode 123: The Heavenly Hash Centennial
There are all sorts of anniversaries in life, however seldom is a milestone celebrated for a candy. But then there are few confections as worthy of special recognition as Heavenly Hash. This year is the centennial of Elmer Chocolate creating the Heavenly Hash Easter Egg. In 1923, the recipe was purchased from a New Orleans confectionary store. Prior to that purchase, the candy was generally sold in slices. The Elmer folks developed the technology to make Heavenly Hash in a chocolate egg-shaped covering.
Robert Nelson, CEO of Elmer Chocolate, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about one of the world’s great candies, as well as Gold Bricks, Pecan Eggs and other Elmer’s products like chocolate packed valentine boxes. This is not a commercial but a culinary history combining chocolate, almond, pecans and skilled marketing.
We'll also hear about the uproar when an expanding drug store chain decided one year not to carry Elmer’s products.
Episode 122: Cajun Country Carnival
There are two principal ways of Carnival group ritual in Louisiana. One is the New Orleans style float parade with bands, marching groups and maskers flinging throws from floats. And the other is the Cajun style Courir de Mardi Gras in which mounted riders and runners go different places begging ingredient for a gumbo. Both have their own indigenous music and traditions.
Dixie Poche joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about her new book "Cajun Mardi Gras: Chasing Chickens and Making Gumbo." Learn how different communities along the Cajun prairie have different costume elements including cone-shaped hats and masks made from screens. We'll also answer the question, which town is the epicenter of the Courir culture?
Episode 121: A Century Old, Yet Not a Has Bean
A century ago, a New Orleans based company, founded by Lucius H. Hayward Jr., was in the business of purveying dried beans, most notably the red kidney shaped variety. The company would eventually trademark the name Camellia Brand Red Beans. The business flowered from there. At first the beans were scooped from a barrel at grocery stores, but then Gordon Hayward, the son of the company’s founder, had the idea to package the beans in cellophane bags. With that, red beans became an easily marketable item. Vince Hayward, great grandson of Lucius and CEO of Camellia Brands, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the evolution of the New Orleans classic everyman’s dish, red beans and rice. It is a fascinating story made spicier with slices of andouille, pickled meat and bay leaves for seasoning. Hayward also reveals his personal recipe including why he adds a chunk of butter.
Episode 120: Allons à Lafayette pour le bicentenaire
It's funny... Lafayette doesn’t look a day over 150, yet the town is celebrating its 200th anniversary. The commemoration is based on the state issuing a charter, in 1823, to what was then known as Vermilionville. (In 1884, the name was changed to Lafayette to honor the French marquis who fought in the American revolution.) Sami Parbhoo, the Bicentennial Coordinator for the town’s celebration, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the area’s culture including history, music and of course, food.
We will also hear why Lafayette is known as one of the nation’s happiest towns.
Episode 119: The Need for Beads
Louisiana is the only state where beads are known to dangle from oak trees. That phenomenon is especially common in New Orleans where the trees along certain avenues are nurtured by Carnival floats passing beneath their limbs late each winter. Doug MacCash, a staff writer for the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, has written a book titled “Mardi Gras Beads” (LSU PRESS). He joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell share low down on and explore the history of the bead business.
We will also hear why New Orleans paradegoers were once so adept at spelling “Czechoslovakia."
Episode 118: Governors in History with Robert Mann
There are four meaningful seasons in Louisiana: football, hurricane, Carnival and elections. All are important; two are fun. Robert Mann, holder of the Manship Chair in Journalism at LSU and a former staffer with Governor Kathleen Blanco and Senators John Breaux and Bennett Johnston, as well as once a newspaper reporter joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot for a riveting conversation about politics, especially gubernatorial history and elections
Oh yes, we will also hear about the time Huey Long arranged for the LSU student body to watch the Tigers football team play Vanderbilt – in Nashville, by train.
Episode 117: A Century of Healthcare for Kids - The Shriners in Shreveport
We have heard of Shriners Hospital but, but we bet you didn’t know that the organization’s children’s healthcare movement began in Shreveport in 1922. Steve Caskey, chairman of the Board of Governors for Shriners Children’s Shreveport, tells Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot the story of the emerge of the system that originally placed a high emphasis on orthopedics, including during the challenging days of polio.
Episode 116: Merger Enhances Prospects for Global Trade - Insights From Businessman Michael Hecht
With one of the world’s great rivers flowing through it, Louisiana has always deserved a seat at the table when the topic is world trade. Now the subject had become enhanced as the local chapter of the World Trade Center has linked with Greater New Orleans Inc., which promotes trade not only in New Orleans but Southeast Louisiana and, by implication, all of the state.
Michael Hecht, president and CEO of the newly combined World Trade Center at Greater New Orleans Inc, joins Executive Editor of Louisiana Life Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the riveting pursuit of global trade. It is an essential story with as many twists as the river itself.
Oh yes, we will also hear about how the state can best benefit from the burgeoning off-shore wind industry. The solution is different than you might think.
Episode 115: Warren Perrin - A Man of Many Topics
Warren Perrin could deserve the title of Mr. French (Monsieur Français.) The Lafayette lawyer was a founder of Codofil (the organization to preserve the French language in Louisiana) and founded the Acadian Museum of Louisiana in Erath.
Perrin joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about several topics including his conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron and how the French perceive Louisiana’s native Cajun French. Other topics covered include the tricentennial of the colonial Louisiana capitol having moved from Biloxi to New Orleans; and, a victim of the Munich Olympics terrorist attack 50 years ago who had connections in Louisiana. This is a compelling conversation worth listening to.
Episode 114: A Time for Crawfish
There are many acres of crawfish ponds in China, but did you ever hear the story about where the stock for those ponds originate? Hint: It is a state in America. Errol Laborde, Executive Editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot talk to author Sam Irwin whose book “Louisiana Crawfish: A Succulent History of the Cajun Crustacean” gives the lowdown on the mudbug, including how it became so popular in Louisiana.
Oh yes, there is also a debate about the eternal question, "to suck the heads or to not sucks the heads"?
Episode 113: A Celebration of Louisiana
Here is a question we should all consider: “Why Louisiana Ain’t Mississippi or Anywhere Else?”
Philosophers have long pondered the question but now there is good news, a TV documentary series takes a closer look. Jay Dardenne, a two time Lt. Governor and Secretary of State and now the governor’s Commissioner of Administration, and Linda Midgett, a producer for Louisiana Public Broadcast (LPB), join Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde and podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the documentary, which will be broadcast and streamed over the LPB system. The content is a romp through Louisiana history filled with history, anecdotes, talking heads and some laughs.
Oh yes, the two have assured that while Louisiana is indeed great, Mississippi ain’t so bad either.
Episode 112: High-Rise Disasters! Remembering Two New Orleans Tragedies
Though we hope to never see anything like them again, great urban tragedies should never be forgotten – if for no other reason than to to remind us to be vigilant at doing the things to prevent more disasters. Errol Laborde, Executive Editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot talk with Royd Anderson, a documentary maker who specializes in documenting harrowing experiences such as a high-rise fire and a sniping incident from the top of a hotel.
Both terrorized New Orleans within a matter of weeks 50 years ago.
Episode 111: Floating with the Lt. Governor
When you need a way to promote your state that will draw lots of attention and is fun to look at, a spin-off of a Mardi Gras float might work, especially if your state is Louisiana.
State tourism promotion is officially under the direction of the Lieutenant Governor’s office. "Louisiana Insider" producer Kelly Massicot went to the source to talk to Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser about the effort during the holiday season for Louisiana to have a presence in both the nationally televised Rose Bowl parade and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day procession.
Oh yes, we will also hear about a 60-foot-long alligator making his way through Manhattan.
Episode 110: Frenchies – Cajuns et Acadiens qui sont allés à la guerre
They were raised among French speaking families. Their ancestry traced through Nova Scotia and the maritime provinces. They were teased by Anglo troops when they went to war. They became of enormous value in France as translators.
Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, talk with Jason Theriot, a Lafayette-based historian whose upcoming book "Frenchies" profiled Cajuns who went to war and whose work inspired an exhibit at the National World War II Museum. Now he has expanded his base by studying troops from French Canada. Were there any similarities to their war experience?
Oh yes, we will also hear about common last names such as LeBlanc heard in both areas.
Episode 109: Whole Lot of Shakin'
Jerry Lee Lewis made a lot of music and left a lot of stories to tell about unrivaled popularity, unparalleled scandal and a rocking comeback. Jim Brown, former Secretary of State, Insurance commissioner and State Senator joins Louisiana Life Executive Director Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about Jerry Lee who was a neighbor in the upstate town of Ferriday, as well as his first legal client.
Oh yes, we will also hear about Lewis’ famous cousins.
Episode 108: Secrets of Traiteuses
I guess you might call them faith healers, but they are more than that description because they often rely on certain herbs and plants, as well as handed-down prayer and sometimes even a gentle touch to heal certain maladies. They have long been a part of Cajun culture especially in rural areas away from standard medical treatment. Mary Perrin and Bev Fusel, two traiteuses (the female equivalent of “traiteurs”) from the Lafayette area, and the authors of a newly published book "Healing Traditions of South Louisiana, prayers, plants and poultices" join Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about what maladies are best treated by traiteurs and why.
Oh yes, we will also hear about the power of elderberries.
Episode 107: Interview with a Voodoo Priestess
There are some people who claim to do Voodoo but are just doing it for fun. Then, there are others who are the real thing. Sallie Ann Glassman is a Voodoo priestess; ordained in the Haitian ritual. Glassman, who operates Island of Salvation Botanica, stages ceremonies on Voodoo spiritual days such as St. John’s Eve. She joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about Day of the Dead rituals.
Oh yes, she will also answer the question do real Voodoo practitioners stick pins in dolls.
Episode 106: Brown Pelicans Taking a Dive
Just watching a brown pelican in action reveals how fascinating they are as they hover over a water body and then suddenly take a crash dive, to surface with fish in their bills. It is one of nature’s more dramatic acts.
Author Rien Fertel joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell tales from his new book, “Brown Pelican” (LSU Press). We know it as the state bird but brown pelicans are also an ancient species with a rich influence of early legends and as a common religious symbol. This is an extraordinary interview about an incredible bird.
Oh yes, we will also hear how the brown pelican is different from its white counterpart including size, mating and fishing techniques.
Episode 105: Hunting for Haunts
While filming a documentary about ghosts in an old plantation home producer Barbara Sillery once noticed a woman standing outside a window looking in. Later when the camera operator and the sound technician were asked about the woman they responded, “what woman?” Sillery joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell stories from her books and public TV documentaries which includes "The Haunting of Louisiana," "The Haunting of Mississippi" and "The Haunting of Cape Cod and the Islands."
Oh yes, we will also hear Sillery’s picks of Louisiana’s most allegedly haunted places.
Episode 104: Love That Chicken!
You’ve heard the expression “love that chicken!” Well, you might like this colorful interview as well. Al Copeland Jr , the CEO and chairman of the Copeland foundation, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde and podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell stories from the new book, “Secrets of A Tastemaker: Al Copeland. The Cookbook. Recipes and Spicy Delicious Memories." His late dad founded the business best known as Popeyes, which is being honored this year on its 50th anniversary.
Oh yes, we will also hear about Copeland’s famous standoff with vampire author Anne Rice.
Episode 103: Learning About Ourselves – What the Numbers Say
Allison Plyer is an expert on numbers – not the boring kind that we may have experienced in school, but the fascinating statistics that reveal information about our lives and futures, as well as trends in the state. Plyer, the chief demographer for The Data Center, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot for riveting revelations about people and places.
Oh yes, we will also hear about the chief causes of stress among Louisianians. One of them may surprise you.
Follow Plyer on Twitter @allisonplyer
Episode 102: Shrimp Boats are Coming
Shrimp may be the most versatile of all seafoods. We crave the jumbo shrimp but small shrimp has a use in gumbo. We eat the crustacean fried, boiled, grilled or topped with a remoulade sauce. It is also an industry with its own unique issues and culture. Emma Lirette, author of the new book “Last Stand of the Louisiana Shrimpers,” joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss what ties shrimpers to their boats and nets.
Oh yes, we will also hear about the next generation of workers and will they stay on the bayou.
Episode 101: Looking for the Latest in Louisiana
What’s new in Louisiana? That's a question that Louisiana Life magazine asks in every issue but especially its annual cover story entitled "La Nouvelle Louisiane." The magazine’s editorial staff probes the state to discover what’s new in many topics including architecture, visitor attractions, outdoor spaces, hotels bars, musicians and restaurants. Melanie Warner Spencer, the managing editor of Louisiana Life, joins the magazine's Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss great discoveries across the state.
Oh yes, we will also hear what a Lake Charles casino and a New Orleans basilica have in common.
Episode 100: Russel Honoré, The General Who Took Charge
In 2005, during the days of confusion after Hurricane Katrina broke New Orleans’s levees, the military needed someone to take charge. That happened once Russel Honoré, a Louisiana-born General with lots of swagger, stepped off the helicopter. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin would describe him as "that John Wayne type character." Honoré would be called again to defend a different city in 2021, after the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the general to conduct a security analysis. Honoré joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss his battlefield career and his latest battle for equitable energy policies.
Oh yes, we will also talk about his Green Army and how to go to battle.
Episode 99: Angela Gregory - A Woman Who Turned Stone Into Art
Angela Gregory was one of Louisiana’s greatest artists and among the least known. She is distinguished for having chiseled a reputation in a field long dominated by men – sculpturing. From the streets of turn-of-the-century New Orleans, where she grew up, to the Parisian studio where she honed her craft, Angela Gregory’s story is that of a woman before her time. Beginning with her interest in art at an early age, a film produced for Louisiana Publish Broadcasting explores Gregory’s studies at Newcomb College in New Orleans and at the studio of Auguste Rodin’s chief sculptor Antoine Bourdelle in Paris.
“At a time when women struggled to be taken seriously, Gregory married her mathematics skills with her love for art and architecture to create beauty in what she called ‘the ultimate lasting pieces of art," said Dorothy Kendrick, the film’s producer and writer, .
Kendrick, along with art historians Susan Hymel and Elizabeth Weinstein, join Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde and podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about Gregory’s career.
Oh yes, we will also hear about an exhibit and a documentary created to tell more of her story.
Episode 98: Louisianians in the Kitchen - Stirring it up with Stanley Dry
What exactly is the purpose of roux in a gumbo or stew? And how about those prepared roux mixes? Louisiana Life’s longtime food columnist and genius in the kitchen as well Stanley Dry ponders these question and others with Errol Laborde, Executive Editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot. They also talk top Louisiana seafood and meats.
Oh yes, we will also hear Dry reveal his favorite Louisiana-linked desserts.
Episode 97: Cancer in Louisiana – The Statistics and Treatments
It is the true Public Enemy Number One. In Louisiana, cancer takes many victims but there is an advance guard providing research and treatments.
Jasmyne Watts, a cancer support manager for the American Cancer Society, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the top cancers in Louisiana and what is being done to overcome them.
Oh yes, we will also hear about the importance of early diagnosis.
Episode 96: Architect Trey Trahans' Blueprint for Natchitoches
Natchitoches, Louisiana is known for its quaint architecture, plus one building that is hip and cutting edge. The building, which now houses the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Northwest Louisiana History Museum, is so much of a discussion in the architecture world that it was featured on “How Did They Build That?” – a globe-trotting series on the Smithsonian Channel. Crowley native/New Orleans and New York resident architect Victor “Trey” Trahan joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the ideas and problem-solving that allowed this building to rise.
Oh yes, we will also hear about the Louisiana Superdome, where Trahan is involved with the refurbishing.
Episode 95: In Search of Places Worth Saving
Some of the state’s most interesting places were built for everyday people to do great things. There were the Rosenwald Schools built by a wealthy Southerner who, in the pre-Civil Rights days, wanted to provide settings for Black kids to have a better learning environment. A couple hundred were built in Louisiana each including classroom buildings and two houses for the teachers. Elsewhere, there were also churches and office buildings some deigned with an extra flourish, begging for re-use today. Brian Davis, the Executive Director for the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the Trust’s latest endangered building list each with a great history.
Oh yes, we will also hear about a building that Davis personally helped save. He lives in it now.
Episode 94: Return of the Dew Drop Inn
Back in the bad old days, when racial segregation was the law, there were music entertainment clubs throughout the state to accommodate a Black-only crowd. Known as the “Chitlin' Circuit,” some of the biggest names in rhythm and blues, including Ray Charles and James Brown, made the trek from place to place. The swankiest of all the stops was the cleverly named Dew Drop Inn, located in New Orleans on LaSalle Street. There were big name entertainers, including a few female impersonators, plus a bar, food and dancing; and even a hotel. After passage of the Civil Rights bill there were more options for Black people. Some of the old clubs lost their following and fell into disrepair. The good news is that the Dew Drop Inn is making a comeback. Developer Curtis Doucette joins Errol Laborde, Executive Editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about his efforts to revive the Dew Drop and make it better than ever.
Oh yes, we also hear about Drag Queen master of ceremonies Patsy Vidalia and her unique presence.
Episode 93: Operation Desert Storm Monument
Bill Caragan fought two military-related battles in two different decades – and he was successful with both. The first can in the 1990s when Caragan's Louisiana National Guard Unit prepared to be shipped to Iraq as part of the effort to liberate Kuwait in what would become known as Operation Desert Storm. The second was in recent years to promote a monument in honor of those who fought in Operation Desert Storm. The monument’s site in Washington, D.C. was recently dedicated and now under construction. Caragan joins Errol Laborde, Executive Editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the war and the evolution of a monument.
Oh yes, we will also hear about why being an artillery unit’s forward observer is one of the toughest jobs in the military.
Episode 92: Fun with Film - Louisiana as a Setting and as a Site
Louisiana’s movie business is rebounding and Alfred Richard knows the scene from inside and out – as a fan and as a participant. Richard, whose movie comments are heard weekly on New Orleans stations WWL-TV Ch. 4 and periodically as a special guest on public television WYES Ch. 12’s "Steppin’ Out" program, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot for a fun talk about the movies.
Oh yes, we will also hear about his role as “Chocolate Thunder” as part of the “610 Stompers” dancing group, whose whole motto is “Ordinary Men; Extraordinary Moves.”
Episode 91: Exploring the Atchafalaya Swamp – And Minding the Gators
Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin is the largest river swamp in the country. It is filled with vegetation, birds, animals, reptiles (including alligators) and wonderment. Unfortunately, any place that is so ecologically precious also has its challenges, including keeping the water flowing through the proper channels. Ecologists Joseph Baustian and Bryan Piazza of the Nature Conservancy join Errol Laborde, Executive Editor of Louisiana Life, and podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about how the basin has withstood man-made intrusions yet benefitted from man-made technology. It is a moving story that includes keeping the water moving.
Oh yes, we also hear about the successful strategy to keep the alligator population growing.
Episode 90: Of Black Bears, Redfish and Brown Pelicans! Louisiana's Wildlife Population
Besides color, what is the difference between a brown bear and a black bear? And which are you most likely to find in Louisiana? How plentiful are feral pigs? Does Louisiana have more alligators than people? What’s the difference between a redfish and a red snapper? Chris Holmes has written several articles about the state’s wildlife for many outlets including for Louisiana Life.
Holmes joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the state’s wildlife from the Kisatchie Forest through the Atchafalaya Basin.
Oh yes, we will also hear about the re-emergence of the bird made famous by John James Audubon
Episode 89: The Evolution of Saints – A Shreveport Story
In 1873, one of the worst Yellow Fever epidemics in the nation’s history swept through Shreveport. The then fledgling Archdiocese of Natchitoches recruited five priests from France to service the needy. All five died having known they would not return to their native country. Now there is a movement for the five to be canonized as saints. LSU-Shreveport Historian Cheryl White is a co-author of a book, “Shreveport Martyrs of 1873: The Surest Path to Heaven.” White joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell the moving story of the priests, as well as Yellow Fever, early Shreveport and the spread of religion in Louisiana.
Oh yes, we will also hear about the steps of canonization to be recognized as a saint.
Episode 88: Jim Brown - Stories To Tell
Jim Brown, former Louisiana Secretary of State, Insurance Commissioner and State Senator makes a return visit to the podcast and for good reason. He always has a lot of stories to tell. Brown joins Errol Laborde, Executive Editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell tales from his latest book, “My Louisiana Odyssey: A Memoir,” including a late night phone call from Bill Clinton and flying with Edwin Edwards.
Oh yes, we will also hear about visiting a saint’s relic and why.
Episode 87: Cajun Through the Lens
There are many stories to be told about Louisiana’s Cajun culture; most joyous, a few heartbreaking, all part of a lifestyle that has flourished in southern Louisiana. Conni Castille, a ULL documentarian who has specialized in chronicling Acadiana, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about the virtue of rice and gravy, properly ironed shirt collars, celebrating on horseback and, to the contrary, even a diseases that has afflicted some Cajun families.
Oh yes, we will also hear a tempting recipe that includes boudin and Steen’s syrup.
Episode 86: MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR! Hey, That's Us!
One of the biggest honors given to any magazine is to be named “Magazine of the Year,” especially by a national trade organization. Well, ahem!, Acadiana Profile, Louisiana Life magazine’s sister publication, was recently named Magazine of the Year (in the bountiful 37,000 or leas circulation category) by IRMA, the International Regional Magazine Association. Not only that, but Louisiana Life was also named as one of the finalists. The award was announced at the group’s recent convention in Ottawa, Canada. Melanie Spencer, both magazine's managing editor, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to discuss behind the scenes in regional magazines and the making of a nationally ranked publication.
Oh yes, we will also hear about a controversial cover and a British judge’s thoughts about it.
Episode 85: Charter Schools Re-Examined – What a Tulane Professor Learned
Whenever early education is the topic, charter schools are always part of the discussion. This is especially true in New Orleans, which has the only all charter public school system in the nation.
J. Celeste Lay an Associate Professor of Political Science at Tulane University joins Errol Laborde, Executive Editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss her book, “Public Schools, Private Governance: Education Reform and Private Governance in New Orleans.” The book raises serious question about charter schools in general and is a good text for learning more about education and politics.
Oh yes, we will also hear about the impact that Hurricane Karina had on public education.
Episode 84: Tom Sancton's Horn of Plenty
New Orleanian Tom Sancton is a master of the clarinet as well as an accomplished journalist, having served as Paris Bureau Chief for Time Magazine.
Sancton joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talks about his fascinating career on stage and behind the keyboard, as well as recall a life lived in two dream cities: Paris and New Orleans.
Oh yes, we will also hear about “The Last Baron,” his latest book about the kidnapping of a French aristocrat and about his acquaintance with a former French President who had New Orleans experiences.
Episode 83: The Making of a Better Pecan – An Enslaved Person's Story
Here is the amazing story of how the pecan, as we would come to know it, was transformed from being a lowly nut that grew wild in the south to becoming a finely developed food source. All of this was because of an enslaved person who was the gardener at Oak Alley Plantation and who developed an expertise at grafting. Historian Katy Morlas Shannon joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the discoveries from her fascinating new book “Antoine of Oak Alley.”
Oh yes, we will also hear about slave laws and how Louisiana differed from some other southern states.
Episode 82: Food and Drink – The Southern Influence
A favorite topic of many podcast listeners is food; a second favorite topic is drink. Y’all are in luck. This episode’s guest is an expert on both. Liz Williams, a founder of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum and President of the National Food & Beverage Foundation, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about culinary history including the South’s unique contributions on the plate and in the tumbler.
Oh yes, we will also hear the secret to the best day- after Thanksgiving leftover gumbo ever.
Episode 81: The Saga of the Spaniard Who Influenced The Acadian Settlement In Louisiana
We know that the Acadians were exiled from Nova Scotia, but why did so many settle in Louisiana? Was it because of the crawfish, the swamp, the alligators or the duck hunting? No, it was because of cattle and the Acadians' expertise at raising herds. Félix Martín Antonio Navarro, who from 1783 to 1788 was an official with the Spanish administration that governed Louisiana, convinced the king to allow land grants to Acadian settlers. Historian Robert Hicks, who has spent years studying Navarro, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about the man he refers to as “Louisiana’s Greatest Humanitarian.”
Oh yes, we will also hear about a Catholic Priest whose 1955 book revived Navarro’s name as part of Louisiana history.
Episode 80: Former Secretary of State's COVID Battle
You would think if you were a former Secretary of States, insurance Commissioner, state senator and candidate for governor you could get good attention in a public hospital. That was not the case in the early days of the COVID-19 crisis when Jim Brown had to battle both a virus and a hospital staff that was still learning how to handle the onslaught of patients. Brown joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about learning to prepare for a health crisis.
Oh yes, we will also hear some good old fashion talk about current Louisiana politics.
Episode 79: Naughty New Orleans
Alecia Long, an LSU historian and author of the book “The Great Southern Babylon: Sex, Race and Respectability on New Orleans, 1865-1920,” joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about the risqué side of early urban life. Oh yes, we will also hear about her latest book linking former Orleans Parish D. A. Jim Garrison's investigation of the Kennedy assassination as an alleged sex crime.
Episode 78: The Wrath of Climate Change – An Award-Winning Reporter's Beat
Ask Bob Marshall what the article was for which he won his Pulitzer Prize and he will politely respond, "which one?" Marshall has been on the winning side for two group Pulitzers each reporting on environmental issues for the Time-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate.
Fortunately, on matters of ecological issues, Louisiana needs such aggressive watchdogs. The lush waterways and wetlands that make the state so wondrous are also vulnerable to being tested by nature.
Marshall joins Louisiana Life magazine Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about climate change in Louisiana including long-range predictions. (Hint: It’s not good.)
Oh yes, we will also hear about how far inland a new Louisiana coastline could be one day.
Episode 77: Crops vs. The Battlefields
Most of us can go all day without worrying about what fuels our tractors need. If you are a farmer, though, you may have a lot to worry about, especially when a war can cause a diesel fuel shortage. (Also, fertilizer scarcity.)
Mike Deliberto, an economist for the LSU Agriculture School, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about the status of Louisiana agriculture and what war can do to it. (Hint: It’s not good.)
Oh yes, we will also hear what the state’s top crops are and listen to a segment from a Ray Charles song about sweet potato pie.
Episode 76: Early Radio in Louisiana - A Station Reaches a Century
Commercial radio in Louisiana reached a significant anniversary in 2022 as WWL in New Orleans celebrates its 100th year. The station, with its 50,000 watts of power, was designed to reach a national audience back in the days when radio stations were few. WWL’s news director Dave Cohen and Dominic Massa, executive vice president & COO at WYES New Orleans, who has written a book about local radio, join Executive Editor of Louisiana Life Errol Laborde along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the statewide evolution of the first electronic information medium. There are stories to tell.
Oh yes, we will also hear about early variety shows that preceded the coming of television.
Episode 75: A Saga of Mutinous Women – How Early New Orleans Dealt With a Gender Shortage
In the 1700s, when New Orleans was a fledgling city, the French overseers faced many problems including a severe shortage of women. Arrangements were made to send women from France who were perceived as being problematic to Louisiana for a new life. Joan DeJean, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and a native of Louisiana has conducted exhaustive research on who those women were brought to Louisiana, why were they sent, and what they accomplished in their new land. Some of the stories are heartbreaking others are inspirational.
DeJean joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about her latest book, “Mutinous Women: How French Convicts Became Founding Mothers of the Gulf Coast.”
Oh yes, we will also hear about the legends of the casket girls.
Episode 74: Make Way For The Courir De Mardi Gras
If you're in Cajun Country around Mardi Gras time be careful when you cross the road, there might be some masked riders pursing chickens for a gumbo. Chance Henry joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about the Courir de Mardi Gras tradition (he is a Capitaine), as well as Cajun Culture and Acadia Parish – for which he is the Police Jury President. Oh yes, we will also hear about a place where pirates and cowboys once gathered called Roberts Cove.
Episode 73: Orphan Trains - Life on the Other Side of the Tracks
There are few phrases that can sound as sad as “Orphan train” yet between 1854 and 1928 for thousands of kids who had experienced the fragile immigrant life and the slums of the east coast, the Orphan trains were a chance to experience a new life on farm lands and in rural American towns. Martha Aubert, President of the Opelousas-based Louisiana Orphan Train Museum and board member James Douget joinErrol Laborde, Executive Editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss the plight of the kids many of whom settled in Louisiana.
Oh yes, we’ll also hear about some of the hardships and relocation success stories..
Episode 72: Pointe-Au-Chien – The People and The Place
There is a place in Terrebonne Parish near the Gulf of Mexico known for its beautiful scenery, bountiful seafood and a population of indigenous people. It is also known for its fragile existence so near the water, as tested by Hurricane Ida. Ben Johnson, a producer for Louisiana Public Broadcasting, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde and podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss his documentary “The Plight of Pointe-Au-Chien,” a study of both the land and the native people who survive there.
Oh yes, we’ll also hear about some of the creative indigenous dishes served at the dinner table.
Episode 71: Storyville – A Neighborhood Of Its Own
You may not have noticed it, but this year is the 125th anniversary of the legalization of the Storyville red-light district in New Orleans. Storyville was an effort to make prostitution more respectable by allowing it only in a designated neighborhood. Historian Sally Asher joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the bawdiness, characters and famous bordellos of Storyville.
Oh yes, we will also hear about some legendary cemetery tombs including one built to house the era’s most famous madame.
Episode 70: Some of the State's Best
In trying to pick a Louisianian of the Year, there are 4.6 million people to choose from. Louisiana Life magazine makes the task a bit easier by talking to experts in various fields to whittle the size to five worthy people. Managing Editor Melanie Warner Spencer joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about some of the state’s shining lights.
Oh yes, we will also hear about a few exciting museums worth trying.
Episode 69: Stories of the King Cake - Any Way You Slice It
In preparing his book about king cakes, author Matt Haines claims to have sampled from 80 different cakes for the sake of journalism. His book, "The Big Book of King Cake” was worth the effort because it is both an informative history of the king cake and a source of greet photography showing the confection at its best. Haines joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell about his odyssey. Oh yes, we will answer the question, are there really boudin king cakes?
Episode 68: Stories From The Census
Census figures do more than just set the numbers for political districts, they also tell us a lot about our lives and places of note in Louisiana. Jeff Adelson and Sam Karlyn, both journalists for The Advocate who have extensively studied the numbers, join Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell stories from the 2020 census.
Oh yes, we will also hear about the plight of the once prospering town of Waterproof, Louisiana
Episode 67: Sweet Dreams – Somethings Special From the Oven
We think of Louisiana’s culinary excellence most often in terms of the seafoods, gumbo, etouffees and the variety of pork dishes, but there is a whole other category for sweet things. Lafayette-based author Dixie Poche joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss her book, “Louisiana Sweets: King Cakes; Bread Pudding and Sweet Dough Pie.”
You will discover the origins of many native desserts and learn more about the native produce that are in the mix.
Oh yes, we’ll also hear about a town that once had a festival to celebrate homemade cakes.
Episode 66: Christmas Eve Adventures Along The Levees
Some places are known for their snow at Christmas time; Louisiana’s river parishes are known for their fire on Christmas Eve.
Chicago-based filmmaker Mark Niedelson joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss his documentary "Papa Noel: The Legacy of the Levee Bonfires." The production, which is available through the resources of Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB), tells the story as centered in the St. James Parish town of Gramercy and spread along the River Road levee.
Oh yes, we’ll also speculate on the true origin of the bonfires. It may not be what you have heard.
Episode 65: Adventures in No Man's Land
There was once a part of present day Louisiana that neither France nor Spain could decide on who was the possessor, so it was declared a neutral ground known as “No Man’s Land.” Filmmakers Bill Rodman and Flo Ulmer-Rodman, along with historian Adley Cormier, join Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, and podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss their documentary about a lawless and adventurous section of 19th Century western Louisiana.
Oh yes, we’ll also hear about a tree in Lake Charles where cowboys and pirates once met to trade items and maybe sample a little barbecue.
Episode 64: Notes on Votes - How Louisiana Politics is Changing
Louisiana politics is known for being colorful and controversial. It is also, like most politics, constantly changing. Two University of Louisiana Political Scientists, Pearson Cross and Christie Maloyed, have compiled a book, “The Party is Over: The New Louisiana Politics” featuring contemporary political readings. They join Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, in the Louisiana art of talking politics. Oh yes, we will also hear an evaluation of the Bobby Jindal administration and what might have gone wrong.
Episode 63: Exploring The Green Book – A Travel Guide From The Age Of Segregation
At issue was Black vs. White. In the days of racial segregation many road places were denied to black travelers. For decades, a guidebook offering travel suggestions was called "The Green Book." "The Green Book," named after the publication’s founder, provided highway information about motels, restaurants and places to go along the nation’s highways. A full length film and a Smithsonian documentary about the topic have been produced and now Louisiana Public Broadcast (LPB) has put together the documentary “Safe Haven – Louisiana’s Green Book,” focused on key locations in Louisiana, including New Orleans’ Dooky Chase restaurant and the bluesy Dew Drop Inn. The documentary’s co-producers Kara St. Cyr and Emma Reid join Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde and podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss the discoveries from "The Green Book," a few of which still stand.
Oh yes, we’ll also hear about the impact that the ESSO gasoline company had in supporting black travel.
Episode 62: A View From The Coushatta Nation – A Tribal Chairman Speaks Out
Louisiana has four federally recognized Native American tribes, one of the most historic is the Coushattas who settled largely around Allen Parish in the vicinity of Elton and Kinder. David Sickey is a past tribal chairman and a member of the tribe’s governing board. Sickey joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde and podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss the history, culture and some of the social issues that the state’s tribal people face.
Oh yes, we’ll also hear about the impact of the casinos.
Episode 61: Edwards, The Stories Continue; Plus, A Dad's War
Tyler Bridges has stories to tell, so many that this edition of Louisiana Insider will feature two of them. One is the shocking saga of former governor Edwin Edward's body being exhumed and then cremated at the orders of his widow and, allegedly, without the knowledge of his family by earlier marriages. And the other is from Bridges’ new book, “The Flight: One Father's War, a Son’s Search,” about his dad, a bomber pilot during World War II being shot down and then held as a prisoner of war before escaping. Bridges, a journalist for The Advocate newspaper, who has twice been on a Pulitzer Prize winning team, joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell both tales.
Oh yes, we’ll also hear about an idea to create a burial place for governors.
Episode 60: Klan of Devils – New Book Reports On 1965 Murder of a Black Louisiana Deputy
Stanley Nelson is a north Louisiana journalist who has made a specialty out of investigating Ku Klux Klan-related murders. His newest book, "Klan of Devils: The Murder of A Black Louisiana Deputy Sheriff" tells the harrowing story of a 1965 crime in which two Washington Parish deputies were shot while on duty. One deputy died, but the other was only - though severely – injured and able to provide some witness information. The book traces the ensuring investigation and the eventual involvement of the FBI. It is a riveting study of racial relations during that time. Nelson joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to reveal the detail of the crime and the investigation.
Oh yes, we’ll also hear about a secret meeting held between then Governor John McKeithen, looking for help, and the FBI.
Episode 59: The Plight of Coastal People – A Geographer's Perspective
Craig Colton looks at Louisiana’s endangered wetlands not only as an environmentalist, but also as a geographer and anthropologist. Colton, a professor of geography at LSU, joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss the plight and hopes of coastal residents, as reported in his new book, “State of Disaster: A Historical Geography of Louisiana’s Land Loss Crisis.”
Oh yes, we’ll also hear about the math, as Louisiana’s land loss is often described in terms of football fields.
Episode 58: On Top of the Hill – Journalist Steve Roberts Recalls Career of Wife Cokie Roberts
Steve Roberts has experienced life from many different angles. He is an accomplished journalist who has written a nationally syndicated political column. He was the husband of the late Cokie Roberts, who reported for ABC News and National Public Radio and wrote several books, some specializing in women’s political history. His mother-in-law as the late Lindy Boggs, who was a member of congress from Louisiana and went on to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, and his father-in-law was Hale Boggs, a member of Congress who was on the path to become Speaker of the House before disappearing in an Alaskan plane crash in the '70s. Roberts joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot in a memorable interview to discuss his career and his new book about Cokie Roberts.
Oh yes, we’ll also hear Cokie Roberts’ argument made to her mother about why she should accept the Vatican appointment.
Episode 57: Towns With Charm
Which Louisiana town has Dolly Parton as part of its history? Which town was settled as part of a German religious sect? These and other questions are answered as Louisiana Life magazine’s travel writer Chere Cohen joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to reveal her picks of the state’s most charming towns.
Oh yes, we’ll also hear about why Natchitoches became famous for meat pies and about a nearby town that’s known for its tamales.
Episode 56: Booze, Bordellos and Battles – Impact of World War I Era in Louisiana
Europe was ablaze with the biggest war that the planet had experienced up to that time. In Louisiana, there were also lots of battles; including an end to the Red Light District, racial tensions and the coming of prohibition. And there were a few clear victories with the evolution of Jazz and women’s suffrage. Historian Brian Altobello joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell stories from his new book “Whiskey, Women and War: How the Great War Shaped Jim Crow New Orleans.”
Oh yes, we’ll also hear about Mayor Martin Behrman and his impact on restructuring the city.
Episode 55: La Nouvelle Louisiane – What’s New In the State? A Lot
Even through the COVID-19 slowdown and taunting by hurricanes there has been lots going on in Louisiana over the last couple years. To prove its point, Louisiana Life magazine presents its annual La Nouvelle Louisiane awards. Melanie Warner Spencer, the magazine’s managing editor, joins Errol Laborde along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss the best of what’s new in the state including places, things, culinary adventures and even people with stories to tell.
Oh yes, we’ll also hear the magazine’s picks of five charming Louisiana towns.
Episode 54: The Civil Rights Trail - Stories From The Saga
When the story of the protests for more civil rights in Louisiana is told there were several key stops along the way including a church in Shreveport, a march to Bogalusa and Dooky Chase restaurant in New Orleans. Organizer Brenda McKinley and former TV news anchor Norman Robinson join Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell stories about the height of the Civil Rights struggle. The story is now made more visual by the state's new Civil Rights trail, which provides informational trail markers and web-based information about the saga.
Oh yes, we’ll also hear about Ray Charles and his mention of Dooky Chase in one of his songs.
Episode 53: Shane Bernard - A Man and his TABASCO
Shane Bernard has Louisiana culture in his blood. He also has splashes of Tabasco sauce. Bernard, a historian who has chronicled Cajun culture and the Swamp pop music scene, is also the archivist for Tabasco hot sauce. He, a scholar on the hot stuff, joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about, not just the sauce, but its home base of Avery Island, one of the few places in Louisiana where there has been mining activity below the ground. In this case, for salt. Oh yes, we’ll also here about his dad, a former swamp pop superstar, and the surprising revelation of where the barrels come from that are used to age the Tabasco mash.
Episode 52: Bob Mann - Stories From a Political Reporter Who Lived Close to the Action
Bob Mann has been in the boiler room with many important Louisiana political figures including Russell Long, J. Bennett Johnson, John Breaux and Katheen Blanco. He has also written about Louisiana politics as a newspaper reporter and as an author of several political books. Mann, who is now the Manship Chair in Journalism at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communications, joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell stories from his new book, “Backrooms and Bayous: My Life in Louisiana Politics.” Oh yes, we’ll also hear Russell Long’s take on why his dad, Huey, hastened his political agenda.
Episode 51: A Louisianian Who Saved China
Clare Chennault led the country he was fighting for in defeating the Japanese in the air war. Surprisingly, that country was China and without his aerial combat skills Japan may have conquered the nation in 1937. Accordingly, the outcome of World War II, which was just beyond the horizon, may have been totally different.
Author Richard P. Voohries, Jr., a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about his book, “Chennault, A Rebel in China,” as well as Chennault’s famous combat squad, “The Flying Tigers.” Oh yes, we will also here about how Chennault was influenced by early American Generals, southern traditions and his relationship with Madame Chiang Kai-shek, wife of the ruling Generalissimo.
Episode 50: Playing the Wildcard – The Rise of Casino Gambling in Louisiana
This year marks the 30th anniversary of casino type gambling being legitimized in Louisiana. Pulitzer-winning journalist Tyler Bridges joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with producer Kelly Massicot to discuss the political history of the games of chance. He should know. His book, "Bad Bet on the Bayou" (published in 2001) followed the many twists in the tale. Oh yes, they will also discuss who went to jail and why.
Episode 49: Steps To Power - Former Secretary of State Jim Brown
Former Secretary of State Jim Brown talks about Edwin Edwards; Louisiana politics and back home in Ferriday
When Jim Brown, a young attorney from Louisiana first met Edwin Edwards, who was in Congress at the time, the two men sat on the steps of the U.S. capitol and talked about Louisiana politics and their ambitions. It was a fateful meeting. Edwards would go on to being elected governor four times; Brown would serve as Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner. Brown joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about Edwards, his career, Louisiana politics and even some music stars who came from Brown’s hometown of Ferriday. Oh yes, we’ll also hear about Brown’s first law client and about his last request to former governor Jimmie Davis.
Episode 48: Supreme Choice - A Young Lawyer and a Defendant Argue Their Case Before the Highest Court
It was 1966 and racial tensions, which were always high in Plaquemines Parish, were boiling over—a group of male Black students was fighting against some white males. Gary Duncan, a local who was related to one of the Black students, saw the action and wanted to help calm things down. In the process, he put his hand on the shoulder of one of the white males. That cost him. Duncan was later arrested and charged with assault. Thus, began the case that the United States Supreme Court would one day label as “Duncan vs. Louisiana.” Richard Sobol, a young white Civil Rights attorney who had relocated to New Orleans, took up Duncan’s case, which would make its way to the nation’s highest court. The story is now the subject of a documentary, “A Crime in the Bayou.” Gary Duncan and documentary filmmaker Nancy Buiriski join Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the battle for justice. Oh yes, we’ll also hear about Plaquemines Parish’s tyrannical political boss and about Sobol one day phoning Duncan to report on news from the Supreme Court.
Episode 47: Bridges To Cross - Spans Across The Mississippi
Imagine, you’re the pilot of an ocean freighter working its way up the Mississippi River. There’s something important you should know. Regardless of your destination you should dock the big ship somewhere before you reach the “old bridge” in Baton Rouge. After that, the river gets shallower all the way up to Minnesota. At this point you’re better off being the captain of a tow boat pushing barges.
Photographer Philip Gould joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about his book, “Bridging the Mississippi: Spans Across the Father of Waters,” for which Gould, and his wife, co-author Margot Hasha, document crossings from the river’s northern origin at Lake Itasca to the twin spans in New Orleans. Oh yes, we’ll also hear about the engineer who was responsible for the steel bridge in St. Louis and the jetties near the mouth of the river.
Episode 46: Ghosts of Good Times: Dance Halls, Swamp Pop and Zydeco
Imagine, walking down the street one night in Opelousas and hearing in the distance music from Ray Charles or maybe James Brown. Only that was no jukebox that you were hearing but Charles and Brown themselves performing live in St. Landry Parish. There was a day when the state was dotted with dancehalls and big name entertainers travelled the circuit. Within those walls the sounds of Zydeco also began to flourish including Rockin’ Sidney commanding “Don’t Mess with My Toot-Toot.” And, swamp popper Rod Bernard swooned that “This Should go on Forever.”
Author Herman Fuselier joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about his book, “Ghosts of Good Times: Louisiana Dance Halls, Past and Present,” as well as the emergence of Zydeco and its biggest stars. Oh yes, we’ll also hear theories on what “Toot-Toot” means, but, warning, whatever the answer, don’t mess with it.
Episode 45: Living at the River's Edge - At Home on the Adventurous Side of a Batture
A levee’s riverside is called a batture. For a few hearty souls it is also called “home.” Author Macon Fry lives in a camp on a batture at the edge of Orleans Parish. He has been chronicling stories of people who live so near the water they can sometime feel the wave action through their floor. Fry, who once canoed down the entire Mississippi River, has stories to tell about life as a “river rat’ and shares them with Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot. Oh yes, we’ll also hear about the uphill migration of river shrimp and marvel as the size of the Mississippi’s catfish.
Episode 44: Speakeasies and Hard Liquor – Louisiana During Prohibition
Louisiana has always had some dry parishes where booze was limited by local law, but the state and especially New Orleans did not take too well to the period from 1920 through 1933, when alcohol sales was curtailed nationwide. Prohibition was a raucous era with colorful characters, hot jazz and behind the doors activity. Author Sally Asher joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell tales about the days when the cork was supposed to stay in the bottle. Oh yes, we’ll also hear the story about a federal investigator and how long it took him to find a drink in New Orleans.
Episode 43: Movies That Moved Us - Top Films Set In Louisiana
What does it mean when the top 10 movies set in Louisiana are discussed, two of them have the word “Easy” in the title? After much discussion, we have concluded that it is probably only a coincidence because the competition is tough. Film critic Alfred Richard joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, in a lively conversation to reveal his choices of the top 10 films set in Louisiana. (Spoiler alert: While the “Easy” films make the list they are not at the top.) Oh yes, we’ll also hear about the impact that one of those films had on a small Louisiana town and, in a brief conversational diversion, what it is like to march in the Macy's Thanksgiving parade.
Episode 42: Exploring Jewish Louisiana – One of the State's Oldest Cultures
For many, the image of Jewish settlements in the United States have been mostly on the East Coast and in major cities. However, there has long been a Jewish population spread across the South and in rural areas. Dating back to the 1700s, some of the earliest Jewish settlers were peddlers selling their wares to eagerly awaiting customers across the landscape. Executive Director of the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience Kenneth Hoffman and Morris Mintz, a founding board member of the museum, join Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about the Jewish story in Louisiana, which includes being victimized by prejudices yet being appreciated for civic leadership and philanthropy. Oh yes, we will also hear about the new museum that details the story of the southern Jewish experience and listen to a klezmer song that might surprise you.
Episode 41: A Plantation and a Briar Patch - Stories from a Place Called "Laura"
Br’er Rabbit was a trickster who loved to defy authority and who pulled his stunts throughout the South. He is known for finding seclusion in briar parches but in Louisiana, his spiritual home was Laura Plantation where former slaves told stories that traced back to their West African roots. Norman Marmillion, a co-owner of Laura Plantation (located near Vacherie, 39 miles up river from New Orleans), joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell stories of the plantation house, the cabins and out-buildings that still survive on the property, as well as the social life of a girl named Laura. Oh yes, we’ll also hear about an earthquake fault line located near the property and another trickster’s real estate deal that once went wrong.
Episode 40: Artifacts? Yes. Apparitions? Maybe – Exploring Magnolia Plantation
Don’t you just hate it when you’re walking in the yard of an old farmhouse and there is a ghost staring out the window? How about that strange noise some folks claim they have heard coming from the barn? And do you sometimes get the feeling that someone is looking over your shoulder only to turn and find no one there? Those are stories that Kenneth Brown, an archaeologist from the University of Houston, heard as he went digging at Magnolia Plantation near Natchitoches, Louisiana. Brown did not spot any ghosts himself, but he did learn much about the lives and traditions of those who occupied those grounds – including post-war freed slaves. Brown, who was a guest expert on the Destination America show “Ghost Brothers" which hosted it's first episode at the plantation, joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell stories about what archaeologists are learning from plantation life. Oh yes, we will also hear about what he found in the ground for his exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Episode 39: Charity, The Hospitals – A History of Help in a Heartbeat
Louisiana was one of the pioneering states at offering free healthcare to its citizens. And there were several state-run Charity hospitals, with the New Orleans facility being one of the largest in the nation. James Ciaravella, a retired surgeon turned author, who spent several years at “Big Charity” joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell stories about medicine for the masses and some of the medical breakthroughs. Oh yes, we will also hear about Tulane vs. LSU facing each other, not only on the sports field, but in the operating room.
Episode 38: A Long Way From Palermo, How The Sicilians Influenced Louisiana
Louisiana, we know, is the creation of many ethnic groups but one that doesn’t always get the credit it is due is the Sicilians. The port of New Orleans was the largest arrival point of migrants from the island off the Italian coast. The group would become very active in agriculture and also influential in food, music, politics and religious celebrations.
Historian Justin Nystrom joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell tales about the rich Sicilian traditions. Oh yes, we will also reveal our pick for the best cannoli.
Episode 37: The Kingfish Swimming with the Sharks - How Huey Long Shaped Louisiana Politics
Huey Long is such a part of the legend of Louisiana politics one might think he was governor for decades. In fact he did not serve a full term, but his impact would last for decades. From his perch as a United States Senator he ruled Louisiana. Even after his assassination his followers would maintain his legacy of populism and political control. Historian Alex McManus joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell about the Long era, it believers and its enemies. Oh yes, we will also hear about Long’s highway linking the State Capitol to the Roosevelt Hotel.
Episode 36: Cajun Soldiers in World War II – Bringing Something Extra
Imagine a Lieutenant leading a platoon through a French village during World War II. He has questions to ask the locals but everyone in his group only speaks English. What does he do? He calls for the soldier from French Louisiana to translate. Historian Jason Theriot joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life magazine, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell about his upcoming book, “Frenchies.” Through years of interviews, Theriot has accumulated stories about the unique role many Louisiana G.I.s performed as the Allies pushed through France and Belgium. Oh yes, we will also hear about the impact that the war had on Cajun pride.
Episode 35: The Empire of Louisiana – Aaron Burr and What Might Have Been
Imagine being Vice-President of the United States and having killed Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Imagine that later in his career the same person possibly committed sedition by trying to make the newly purchased Louisiana territory part of an independent empire. Imagine that this person gets off without any punishment and spends the last years of his life as a practicing lawyer in Manhattan. UNO historian Charles Chamberlain joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell the riveting story about Aaron Burr’s career including his Louisiana territory escapade. Oh yes, we will also hear the career advice Burr sings to Hamilton in the musical by that name.
Episode 34: The Bounty From The Sea - Stanley Dry At The Skillet
What is the better fish for eating, red drum or red snapper? They’re both good but food writer Stanley Dry know the differences. Dry has a long list of credentials including being food editor for Louisiana Life magazine and the author of the hardback book “The Essential Louisiana Seafood Cookbook” published by the magazine. Seafood is the entire topic as Dry makes a return visit to the podcast. He joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, and podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the bounty from the Gulf and the state’s waterways. Oh yes, we will also hear about what else, besides corn and sausage, to toss into the crawfish boil.
Episode 33: Conversation with a Voodoo Priestess
Is Voodoo a religion or is it a way of life? According to Sallie Ann Glassman it is both. Glassman, who travelled to Haiti to study Vodou and to be initiated into the priesthood explains the complexities including the parallels with Roman Catholicism and certain saints. Glassman joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about the mysteries of Voodoo. Oh yes, we will hear about the impact of drumming to the spirit.
Episode 32: Soul and the Holy Spirit
Churches in the Black community are historically known as places where preachers preach with more fervor and where choirs rock the house with hand-clapping joy, hoping for better days.
A documentary produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting entitled, “Louisiana’s Black Church, the Politics of Perseverance,” examines religion in around the state. Executive producer Linda Midgett and producer and reporter Kara St. Cyr join Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about the triumphs and hopes from the pulpit. Oh yes, we will also discover a hidden meaning of the name "Moses."
Episode 31: À la recherche de Cajun (Or, as they say in that other language: In Search of Cajun)
It all began with the word “Acadian," which became Americanized to “Cajun” and then popularized to define life’s necessities including a two-step in Mamou and the spiciness of fried chicken. Join Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot as University of Louisiana at Lafayette professor and documentary maker Nathan Rabalais discusses his production “Finding Cajun,” which made its broadcast debut on Louisiana Public Broadcasting. We will hear about the history of the people and the word, as well as, a delve into the timeless question about preference, “boudin or cracklins?”
Episode 30: In Search of a Pirate
One of the most powerful men in the history of what is now Louisiana was Jean Lafitte. At his peak, Laffite was a mixture of pirate king, Mafia Don and local hero. For as famous as he was there is still much mystery to the Lafitte story, including his place and year of death. North Carolina-based mother and daughter co-authors Ashley Oliphant and Beth Yarbrough join Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to reveal discoveries from their new book "Jean Laffite Revealed: Unraveling One of America’s Longest Running Mysteries." The ending of this story is far different than anyone ever knew. Oh yes, we will also hear about finding Laffite’s sword and how the pirate and Andrew Jackson actually got along.
Episode 29: Traveling the Scenic Byways
We know about the interstates and federal highways that lace the state, but there is a lot to be learned from exploring the old roads. Louisiana is rich with trails all of which have fascinating stories from the gulf coast to the state’s northern tip. Sharon Calcote, the director of the Louisiana Scenic Byways program, joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell tales from 19 designated trails. Oh yes, we will also discover one trail where the story was made into a movie that won an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Episode 28: A Man and His Movies – Louisiana Stories
Glen Pitre’s first film “Belizaire: the Cajun” (1986) starring Armand Assante was backed by Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. Pitre would go on to have more successes, including “The Scoundrel’s Wife” (2002) starring Tatum O’Neal. Roger Ebert, the late film critic on the Chicago Sun-Times, described Pitre as a “legendary American regional director.”
Pitre’s latest effort is “Mary, Queen of Vietnam,” a documentary about the state’s thriving Vietnamese population.
Pitre joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about film making on the Bayou. Oh yes, we will also discover his favorite boudin, white or red.
Episode 27: A Spanish Liquor That Louisiana Saved; And why not to be bitter about bitters
Hardly anyone knows it, but the Louisiana-based Sazerac Company has become one of the top liquor brand distributors in the country. Plus, it operates the amazing new Sazerac House museum in New Orleans.
Rhiannon Enlil, a historian for the museum, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about the bounty from the bar and New Orleans’ controversial claims to be the birthplace of the cocktail. Oh yes, we will also discover if Sazeracs and Old Fashions are related.
Episode 26: Staycations – Traveling Far, Yet Close To Home
Where a bridge crosses the Mississippi River, connecting St. Francisville on one side and New Roads on the other, is a little like crossing the English Channel. There is the French culture on the New Roads side and a touch of English heritage in the St. Francisville vicinity. True, the Mississippi is a lot longer than the English Channel, but we’re just trying to make the point. There is a lot to discover in Louisiana. In this year where travel – especially international – is challenging, staycations might be the way to go. Travel writer Chere Coen joins Errol Laborde, Executive Editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about great staycation spots around the state – some that you might not have thought of before. Oh yes, we will also mention which of the city’s towns has been called, “the happiest city in America.”
Episode 25: If You Were An Escaping Nazi P.O.W., Louisiana Was A Far Place To Swim From; National WWII Museum
Besides sending many of its best overseas, Louisiana played important roles in World War II including ship manufacturing, training and housing German POWs. Dwight Eisenhower even spent times here overseeing maneuvers. Louisiana is still part of the World War II story as it is home to the war’s national museum. Kim Guise, a curator for the museum, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde and podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the war and her specialty, the role of women. Oh yes, we will also hear music from the era!
Episode 24: What Do A Zydeco Expert And An Authority On Ancient Roman Technology Have In Common?
Spoiler alert!! The answer to the above question is that they are both among this year’s class of Louisianians of the Year. The two – Zydeco buff Herman Fuselier and teacher Nathalie Roy – are part of the nine selected this year by Louisiana Life magazine. Melanie Warner Spencer, the magazine’s managing editor, joins executive editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about this year’s talented group. You’ll even hear about how Bob Thames, a Shreveport brewer, was inspired by an ancient bottle of bourbon to raise money for hospitality workers suffering losses because of COVID. He collected $27,000!
Episode 23: Cajun Navy - Riding Rough Waves
They’re not all Cajuns nor are there any admirals in the bunch, but they have certainly experienced battles on the water and on the land. Rob Gaudet, the founder of the Cajun Navy, joins Louisiana Life executive editor Errol Laborde and podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the group's rescue effort through high waters and cyclones including Hurricane Harvey in Houston and the storms that have hit Lake Charles and Southern Louisiana. You’ll even hear how a skilled communication's system has become part of the weaponry of war and how pirogues performed in the streets of Houston.
Episode 22: Bounty of the Cajun Pig – Cochon de Lait, Boudin, Cracklins and Other Treasures from the Boucherie
Cajuns are often associated with seafood, especially the crawfish, but in the prairie areas of south Louisiana, Cajuns are pork eater. Dixie Poche, author of the book the “Cajun Pig,” joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life magazine, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to savor the pork. Oh yes, they will also discuss the appeal of hog’s head cheese.
Episode 21: Bourbon Beat – Louisiana’s Cocktail Culture
Not only have whiskey and rum long been shipped through the state’s ports but local bartenders have created classics such as the Sazerac and Huey Long’s favorite, the Ramos Gin Fizz. Tim McNally – an expert on cocktail history and the author of a new book about the Sazerac, along with Louisiana Life Magazine Executive Editor Errol Laborde and producer Kelly Massicot, provides a fun romp through the history of booze in Louisiana.
Episode 20: A Plantation in Modern Times – Owner Kevin Kelly Discusses the Revival of Houmas House, and the Challenges Involved
What is it like to own a plantation estate? Well, instead of worrying about the sugar harvest there is more concern about the tourist arrivals. It also helps to have a good eye for architecture, design and style. Kevin Kelly the owner of Houmas House and Gardens in Ascension Parish joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life magazine, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot on a verbal exploration of grandeur, controversy and history. Oh yes, he will also reveal the latest on a rumored Viking invasion.
Episode 19: Sizzling In The Kitchen – Stanley Dry, The Best of Louisiana Cooking
To the great debate about which is more appropriate to accompany gumbo – sweet potato or potato salad? – Stanley Dry offers a great alternative, sweet potato salad.
Dry is the Food Editor for Louisiana Life magazine. He had also written for Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review and is the author of "The Essential Louisiana Cookbook" published by Louisiana Life.
He joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot on a verbal exploration of the best of Louisiana cooking. Oh yes, the New Iberia resident is also a dedicated baker and will reveal his picks of the best of Louisiana pies...
Episode 18: A Man and His Swamp - Dean Wilson, Atchafalaya Basinkeeper
Asked which he prefers, alligators or crocodiles, and Dean Wilson did not hesitate. “Alligators,” he replied, “I can swim with them, but I can’t swim with crocodiles.” Wilson should know. He once spent four months alone in the Atchafalaya swamps' deep basin with only “a spear, a few hooks, a bow and arrows.” Fortunately, he lived to tell about it and to discuss his career of saving the basin. His fights these days are more often against human intruders than critters.
Wilson is founder and executive director of the Atchafalaya Basin Keeper, a group dedicated to saving the basin he knows from the inside and outside. He joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot on a verbal exploration of the basin, North America’s great river swamp. Oh yes, he will also tell about the time that a nutria got in his boat.
Episode 17: Pre-Historic Poverty Point - Indigenous Settlement Is Rich With Discoveries
Poverty Point is a pre-historic settlement dating back as far as 1700 years BC. Located in what is now Northeastern Louisiana, Poverty Point was the center of an indigenous culture that spread thorough the Gulf South.
Archaeologists Diana Greenlee digs old things. As the resident researcher at the UNESCO designated World Heritage site, she is leading the way with innovative research into an ancient past. She joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life Magazine, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to discuss the particulars of Poverty Point... Oh yes, we will also discover how the site got that strange name...
Episode 16: Traiteurs – The Traditions of Plants and Prayers for Healing
There are two things that many of us might like to have more of “faith” and “healing.” Mary Perrin can provide both. Perrin is a traiteuse, the Acadian equivalent of a faith healer. Working with herbs, plants and prayer traiteurs look to cure maladies. Perrin is also the Chairperson of the Jardin des traiteurs located at Vermillionville in Lafayette. She joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer, Kelly Massicot to discuss the particulars of an ancient tradition... Oh yes, we will also discover a berry that seems to have amazing curative powers.
Episode 15: Adventures In Natchitoches – Where the Cane River Reflects the Season and Clementine Hunter, Kate Chopin and Dolly Parton are Part of the History
Natchitoches is one of Louisiana’s most charming towns. It is also the oldest continuing settlement having been discovered by French explorers, even before New Orleans. The region is known for its rich history, including having been the setting for the film “Steel Magnolias.” Folk artist Clementine Hunter learned her craft nearby and Kate Chopin, having married a man from Natchitoches, lived for a while in neighboring Cloutierville,.
Kelli West, the Marketing and Communications Director of the Natchitoches Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell the fascinating stories of Natchitoches, the Cane River country and the town's Christmas Festival. Oh yes, we will also discover the origins of the town’s indigenous meat pie.
Episode 14: Living The Chimp Life - A Haven Near Shreveport is a Happy Space for Retired Chimpanzees
Located in Keithville, Chimp Haven is the largest protected area for chimps in the country. Many of the residents were once owned by the federal government for research; others were pets. Now they all live a leisurely life, which everyone can see in the new National Geographic and Disney+ series "Meet The Chimps."
Amy Fultz – Chimp Haven’s director of Behavior, Education and Research – joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell the fascinating story of the chimps and their behavioral patterns. Oh yes, we will also discover if there are any favorites in the group.
Episode 13: Les cajuns et l'histoire française de la Louisiane
"The Cajuns and the French History of Louisiana"
Warren Perrin might be referred to as a Cajun Activist. The Lafayette Attorney once petitioned Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain asking for a British apology for the deportation of the Acadian people. (The British did not apologize but they acknowledged the incident.) He is one of the foremost authorities on Louisiana’s culture and even operates a related museum in the town of Erath. Perrin joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life magazine, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about Cajun culture, past and present. Oh yes, we will also discover if he thinks that in the long run the Acadians were better off having been relocated in Louisiana.
Episode 12: Capitol Ideas - Reports From The Hospitality Battlefield
By law, the job of the Lieutenant Governor is not only to be ready when needed, but to also oversee the state’s tourism. COVID-19 has dropped many bombs on the industry and this week, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser talks about the twin challenges of rebuilding tourism and, because there are fewer restaurant customers, the seafood industry. Nungesser joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life magazine, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the future and survival of Louisiana tourism. Oh yes, there's more... we will also discover how an industry was built involving used shipping containers.
Episode 11: Brush Strokes – The Art of Louisiana
Louisiana has long inspired the artist finding natural beauty, Kings and Queens, Jazz roots and the passion of many cultures. Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer, Kelly Massicot, join guest John Kemp, art columnist for Louisiana Life magazine, in painting a vivid picture of the state’s art scene. Oh yes, we will also discover the city that John James Audubon and The Beatles had in common.
Episode 10: Two Towns and a Scenic River
Monroe, Louisiana is the town that put the pop in Coca Cola and is near prehistoric mounds and a crop duster service that turned into a major airline. Monroe and its sister city West Monroe are separated by the Ouachita river that wins accolades for being scenic. Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer, Kelly Massicot join guest Sheila Snow of the Monroe/West Monroe CVB in discussing the northeast corner of the state. Oh yes, they WILL talk about how bottling Coke revolutionized an industry.
Episode 9: Of Pirates, Cajuns and Cowboys
Lake Charles is close enough to Texas to the west to have a cowboy influence; close enough to the Atchafalaya to the east to have a Cajun influence and close enough to the swamps to the south to have once been a hangout for pirates. Unfortunately, it is also close enough to have been on the path of Hurricane Laura. This week’s Louisiana Insider talks about grit and determination in Southwest Louisiana. Our guest is Eric Cormier a former journalist who is now an official of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Alliance.
Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer, Kelly Massicot join Cormier in discussing heritage and recovery in Southwest Louisiana. Oh yes, we will talk about the Hackberry Ramblers and about the piles of fish seen along the Creole Nature trail.
Episode 8: Rock and Blues with a Cajun Accent
He grew up listening to swamp pop music. The only difference was that his Pop was one of the swamp poppers. This week’s Inside Louisiana podcast is a fun romp through the music that echoed across Louisiana during the early days of rock and roll. Historian Shane Bernard has stories to tell not only about his dad, Rod Bernard, but about the music that echoed across Louisiana during the early days of rock and roll. Bernard also has intriguing insights about Cajun and Creole history and about the evolution of the Tabasco empire. This is Louisiana with rhythm and spice. Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot join Bernard in discussing music and heritage of Louisiana. Oh yes, we will also join the debate about the difference between a Cajun and a Creole.
Episode 7: The Clam That Saved Lake Pontchartrain
Several times Lake Pontchartrain has faced serious pollution issues and each time it has survived largely because the lake, when given a chance, has had the ability to cleanse itself. Once closed to public swimming, folks these days are invited to jump it to an amazingly clean body of water. The sea life provides more proof. Carlton Dufrechou knows the lake probably better than anyone. He is the director of the commission that runs the lake-spanning Causeway Bridge and the former director of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – recently rebranded as the Pontchartrain Conservancy. In this week's episode, Errol Laborde, along with producer Kelly Massicot, joins Dufrechou in discussing the lake and its amazing recovery. Oh yes, we will talk about the blue crabs and the manatees, too.
Episode 6: Up The River and Along River Road
There are more legends about life along the Mississippi river than there are curves in its path. (Well, almost as many.) This week’s “Louisiana Insider” podcast examines the legends and the dynamics of the mightiest of rivers. Mary Ann Sternberg, who has written extensively about River Road, is our guest this week. Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life Magazine, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, join Sternberg in discussing the river, its grandeur as well as the plantations and the slavery controversies. Where is the deepest point in the entire Mississippi river? That and other facts are awaiting your discovery.
Episode 5: The Best of What is New, a Look at La Nouvelle Louisiane
The best of what is new in Louisiana is the subject of the latest edition of “Louisiana Insider.” This week Melanie Spencer, managing editor of Louisiana Life Magazine, joins us to celebrate the winners of La Nouvelle Louisiane awards as announced in the September/October edition of Louisiana Life. The magazine selected the best of the new around the state in several categories including events and attractions; craft breweries; chefs, restaurants; museums; outdoor spaces and celebrities. In the year of the quarantine the feature presents insights into the world around us.
Episode 4: Do You Know What It Means? Rambles Through New Orleans
This week, Mark Romig, chief marketing officer for tourism development at New Orleans & Company, joins host Errol Laborde to explore one of the world’s most colorful cities – New Orleans. They talk about the future, tourism, the Saints and Pelicans, traditions, hard times and good and things to do. There are even song interludes including the first commercially recorded jazz record, an Indians chant and Louis Armstrong remembering a favorite street. Romig is also the stadium announcer for Saints games. The broadcast ends with a Saints call that we hope to hear often.
Episode 3: Calling Baton Rouge, a Fun Ramble Through the Capitol City
This week Jeremy Alford, the publisher and editor of LaPolitics Weekly, joins host Errol Laborde to explore the state’s capitol city. They talk about politics, LSU, favorite haunts and things to do. Enjoy songs, stories about Earl and Huey Long are recalled and wicked comments from Mark Twain of why he disliked the old state capital.
Episode 2: Leadbelly, Elvis, Hank and historian Winston Hall take Shreveport
In this week's episode, listeners will hear from Elvis, early blues singer Leadbelly and stories about Hank Williams. The latest episode is about Shreveport, which was once the site of the Louisiana Hayride, a Saturday night country music show in the style of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. Winston Hall, a Shreveport musician and musical historian, brings a clip of the night when 19 year old Elvis Presley made his debut on the Louisiana Hayride, discusses one of Leadbelly’s hits “Midnight Special” and other elements of Shreveport’s history including Sept. 11, 2001 when Air Force One landed at Bossier City’s Barksdale Airforce base so that President George W. Bush, who had been in Florida, could address the nation about that morning’s terrorist attacks.
Winston Hall is a Shreveport-based piano entertainer and music history enthusiast who performs live more than 300 times a year. In his spare time, he is a tireless advocate for Northwest Louisiana's incredible music history.
Episode 1: Explore Lafayette with travel writer Cheré Coen
In the first episode of "Louisiana Insider," Errol Laborde and Cheré Coen travel to Lafayette, Louisiana. There's music, food and a whole lot of history!
Cheré Dastugue Coen is an award-winning journalist and author living in Lafayette, Louisiana. A native of New Orleans, Cheré began her career in communications at the 1984 World’s Fair. She has worked for or currently writes for Variety magazine in Hollywood, TravelAge West magazine, AAA Southern Traveler, Country Roads magazine of Baton Rouge, Dreamscape of Canada and Renaissance Publishing of New Orleans, among many other publications and international blogs such as Forbes. In addition to being a freelance travel and food writer, she pens the weekly Weird, Wacky and Wild South blog and contributes to Travel the South Bloggers.
Her fiction includes the “The Cajun Series” of historical romances, “The Cajun Embassy” series of contemporary romances and the “Viola Valentine” paranormal mystery series under the pen name of Cherie Claire.
Her nonfiction books include “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Tour of Historic Acadiana” by The History Press; the cookbook travelogue “Cooking in Cajun Country” with “Cajun” Karl Breaux (2009, Gibbs Smith Publishing) and “Magic's in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets,” with Jude Bradley (2010, Llewellyn).