Monday, November 17, 2008

Prince of Wales Social and Pleasure Club Second Line

"Jubilation," says Crecent City historian-photographer Ed Newman,

" the Prince of Wales Social and Pleasure Club approaches and crosses St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1994.

The club was founded in the late 1920's, after a visit from the Prince of Wales, whose style and dash created an impression on the founders. Since then, they've paraded every year, dressed to the nines, sometimes in spats, bowlers, top hats, walking sticks or waistcoats.
Their route is one of the most interesting in New Orleans. It's one of the few that CROSSES the main society avenue, St. Charles Avenue. It goes through a lot of mostly white neighborhoods, and the looks of surprise and pleasure on both the parade watchers and the paraders faces is wonderful. It's actually a mixed club, since Joe, a union organizer who is not African-American, has been a long time member.

Long Live the Prince of Wales (Social and Pleasure Club)!"

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Lee Spruell's tribute to Blanc et Noir Marching Society

Lee Spruell brings many artful things to Blanc et Noir. He has an amazing sense of art, of decoration, of world culture, of basic human generosity. Count on Lee for background, especially, on things relating to Mexico and the Spanish language.

We recently attended his bonfire celebration of Dia de Los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead. It was a splendid evening and we got to see his extensive collection of Mexican arts and crafts. Here, too, is his shrine to the spirit of B&N.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Krewe of Highland / Blanc et Noir Marching Society carnival parade: Feb 22, 2009

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Originally uploaded by trudeau
Let's make a date, current members and those yet to pay their dues: Sun, Feb 22, '09.

We of the Blanc et Noir Marching Society will don old clothes and face paint, gather all our money to pay the band, and stroll through Highland in one of the loveliest gatherings on earth: the Krewe of Highland parade, Shreveport.

$30 per adult.
Big Shots: $100.
Non-adults march free.

Mail checks to Robert Trudeau, s'il vous plait. That's 912 Monrovia St, Shreveport, LA 71106. Every dollar counts. We pay the Black & Red Brass Band $800 to put the power into our parade. Fees due to the Krewe of Highland for parade insurance are $200.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jerry Davenport 08 / Tony Reans

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Originally uploaded by Reans

Adolph Trudeau, standard bearer / Tony Reans

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Danielle Reans 08 / Tony Reans

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Marion Marks 08 / Tony Reans

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Creswell Ave: our royal route / Tony Reans

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Talbot Hopkins 08 / Tony Reans

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Adolfo Chavez 08 / Tony Reans

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The Red & Black Brass Band 08 / Tony Reans

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Kim Jones 08 / Tony Reans

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Jerry Davenport 08 / Tony Reans

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Manny Guendulay / Tony Reans

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Lee Spruell 08 / Tony Reans

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Byron Gipson 08 / Tony Reans

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Video by Ry Kawanaka / Tony Reans

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Tony Reans & doubloon: Krewe of Highland 08

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Orchard maintenance / Tony Reans

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Trudeau emoting for his audience / Tony Reans

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Our peeps 08 / Tony Reans

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Tony Reans 08

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Amber Trudeau / Tony Reans

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Talbot Hopkins 08 / Tony Reans

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Ginger Marks, Tarama Davenport / Tony Reans

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Elise Orchard, Jerry Davenport, Robert Trudeau / Tony Reans

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Carolina Chavez / Tony Reans

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Mac Orchard / Tony Reans

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Madeline Kawanaka / Tony Reans

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Zach Williams / Tony Reans

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B & N '08 / Tony Reans

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The Red & Black reign at Carnival 08 / Tony Reans

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carnival 08 / Tony Reans

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Rest in peace, Lois McFarland

Rick Rowe, Lois McFarland
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Martha McFarland has notified us that "My mother, Lois McFarland, passed away yesterday afternoon, July 1, 2008.

Memorial Service will be held on Saturday July 5, at Kings Highway Christian Church, at 100 pm.

On Friday, July 4, we will be receiving family and friends at my house at 2909 Bolch Street, Shreveport, La from 600 - 800 pm. After the service, we will be meeting back at my house for conversation and remembering my mother.

If you would wish to call, my number is 318-470-1838."

On behalf of the krewe I have written to Martha, "Please accept my condolences for your loss of your mother, Lois. She was an elegant lady and a great help to the Blanc et Noir Marching Society in its inaugural season.

She worked sweetly and diligently to email the membership. She was part of the workshop movement that resulted in hand-made costumes for most of the krewe. She loved those narrow-brimmed hats and looked good in them!

Lois and I met before dawn one cold January morning to meet Rick Rowe and the Channel 3 early show. Alongside the Krewe de BBQ, we were interviewed in the cold wind and went to our cars to warm ourselves between segments. Alas, she got ill. But she had a good time meeting and greeting people on that frigid morning.

We pause to remember this lovely person."

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Give up some energy for us! Robert Trudeau / Blanc et Noir

Robert Trudeau / Blanc et Noir
Originally uploaded by Schleuss
Photo by Jon Schleuss. Catch the Voice of Schleuss Tuesdays at 6 pm on KSCL fm.

Blanc et Noir Marching Society by Jon Schleuss

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Originally uploaded by Schleuss
Schleuss is student manager at KSCL, the centenary college radio station. If you need some fresh music, espcially deep indie style, check out 91.3 fm.

Everyone's talkin bout the Highland parade - truly, it has grown . . .

Originally uploaded by aguendulay
Highland Parade Could see Changes / from The Times on Sat, Feb 9, as written by Stephanie Netherton:

The small neighborhood parade that began 13 years ago is not so small anymore. The Krewe of Highland parade has seen measurable growth in recent years and could see significant changes in the future.

The parade's growth has caused problems with traffic flow and congestion in the Highland neighborhood and surrounding area. The parade also has gotten so long that it often catches up with itself on the parade route.

"The parade is so long that it completely wraps itself around the parade route, which means the streets are closed for a long period of time," police spokeswoman Kacee Hargrave said.

"People who live in the Highland neighborhood are stuck that day. The residents who live there know that."

Hargrave said the parade keeps most of the Highland neighborhood blocked off for about four hours.

This week, the Shreveport Police's Special Events Task Force met with krewe members from Centaur, Gemini, Highland, Sobek and Harambee to discuss this year's parades and improvements that need to be made. While none of the other parades should see changes next year, several suggestions were made to help resolve traffic issues around the Highland parade.

Police discussed extending the parade route, limiting the number of floats in the parade and, in the most extreme case, moving the parade out of the neighborhood. However, Highland Captain Terry Gill feels confident moving the parade will not be the resolution.

"No one with authority has told us that is going to happen. But the general consensus with the krewe is that if they move us to the (Clyde Fant Memorial) parkway, we will no longer do a parade," Gill said.

"That's not what we've ever been about. We're about neighborhood solidarity."

A decision won't be made for several months, and several more meetings are scheduled to discuss the issue. Gill said few logistics have been discussed, but the krewe is willing to help resolve traffic problems.

"We're not uncomfortable with the prospect of extending the parade route, but I'm sure they're not going to move us. The krewes that parade on the parkway are not without their own problems," Gill said.

"We felt good about the compliments we received from the people in the Police Department. Most people watch the parade in their front yards or at the houses of their friends living on the parade route, so we don't have fights and the parade goes off without much of a hitch. I think the parade has just gotten bigger than anybody ever imagined it would be."

Hargrave said the Highland parade is possibly the most family-oriented parade, but improvements need to be made.

"It's a good parade, but it could be better for the sake of the krewe and Highland residents," Hargrave said.

"At the end of every year, we meet to talk about how we can make the parades better. Through those meetings we generate ideas and look for solutions."

photo by Amy Guendulay

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Blanc et Noir 08 (not the complete krewe), Shreveport

Blanc et Noir was included in the swank video of the Krewe of Highland Parade 08 created by Shane bevel and Jim Hudelson. The 2 photographers's stop-action film also used the music of the Red and Black Brass band. The video is called Mardi Gras Whimsey and is on at shanebevel.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Blanc et Noir in the Highland parade, Shreveport 08

Truly, B & N must be the most photographed krewe in North Louisiana. After all, we're artists and designers and media mavens.

Will be able to post a world of photos here, soon. For the meantime please go to our site and type in "blanc" or Highland."
Go here:

Also, the Times has us on the top of its online coverage.

Times writer Manny Guendulay profiles Blanc et Noir on the morning of the Highland Parade

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Originally uploaded by trudeau
Manny Guendulay and I have been friends for many years. He was my student in journalism class and decided he liked the business. I've watched him write scores of articles for numerous publications over the years. Then he became a journalism instructor. And he has the job at Huntington High that I once held. He wrote a profile on Blanc et Noir in the Times today and I'm very happy to say he's joining the krewe for the 08 parade.

In the photo: B & N member Zachary Mire.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Blanc et Noir, Red & Black will roll at 2 pm Sun, Feb 3, in Krewe of Highland Parade

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Originally uploaded by trudeau
"It's not too late to join our marching society for traditional New Orleans-style fun," said Jerry Davenport of the Blanc et Noir Marching Society. "We have the Red and Black Brass Band from Grambling making a big, eight-piece sound; we second line the entire route at the head of the Krewe of Highland parade."

The Krewe of Highland extravaganza rolls on Creswell Ave at 2 pm Sun, Feb 3.

Memberships ($30; kids parade free) in B & N pay for the band, led by Daryl Bassbone Williams of Grambling.

Says Ernie Roberson on his vuky14 eBay blog, "The Highland parade route is very easy to find as you exit I-20 on Line Avenue South and turn left on any street from Olive Street to Kings Hwy. The parade rolls north on Creswell ( just 2 blocks east of Line Ave) and over to Centenary Blvd using Herndon and Olive Street. If you come early, you can find the floats in the parking lot of Byrd High School and flowing down Creswell, south of Gladstone.

The well-known childens author and Disney film maker, William Joyce, usually cranks up his Roly Poly Olly float for the parade as the route runs beside his home near Centenary College. The Blanc et Noir Marching Society starts off the parade and you can find out more about this group on Robert Trudeau's blog. You'll find one krewe that throws only Hot Dogs! Check out for the Highland Parade." Roberson throws from his Krewe of LSU Truck in numerous local parades, but Highland is home base.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jerry Davenport, Marion Marks, Lee Spruell, David Anderson, Madeline Kawanaka, and, in the foreground, Ernie Roberson, Shreveport

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Originally uploaded by trudeau
Some 21 people cut, glued, measured, sewed, stapled, ironed and painted their stuff for over 2 hours at the B & N Costume Workshop 08.

We are indebted to Artspace manager Byron Gipson and assistant Zach for opening for us and sweeping up afterwards. They also laid out cold drinks for the group.

We also would not have been able to work so assiduously were it not for a cornucopia of materials and tools brought to the workshop by Talbot Hopkins Trudeau, who planned well.

Tony Reans and almost-complete sash, Shreveport

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Originally uploaded by trudeau
Tony and Danielle Reans have been members since 07, although they didn't get to march last year. At the workshop Tony decided to make a sash from white felt with gold and red trim. Charter member Stewart Orchard cut the letters for the sash from black felt, freehand, for the project.

At the Twelfth Night Brunch the King Cake brought by Lee Spruell yielded a baby; the person holding her was Monsieur Reans. Accordingly, he brought a deluxe King Cake to the costume workshop.

Merci beaucoup to all you generous people.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Jett Trudeau: youngsters, teens and families welcome in B & N

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Originally uploaded by trudeau
What could be healthier for youngsters, teens and families than a marching krewe?

a) The route is some 3.5 miles in aerobically-smart length. Really, it's no big whoop. And if you want to drop off at some point, no hard feelings.
b) Costumes crafted by hand. And designed by whim and artistic impulse.
c) Emphasis on learning: history, music, global traditions.
d) March is conducted alongside a honkin' brass jazz band.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Blanc et Noir Twelfth Night lunch 08: Madeline Kawanaka, Tony Reans, Marion Marks

Marion Marks, charter member of B&N, has given enormous energy to Carnival in North Louisiana as well as to the birth of B&N.

His company,, or M&M Communications Concepts, is a digital photography-based new media provider. Doing a lot of work for the legal community as well as creative work for a slew of customers (fight songs for LSU, web sites for krewes, etc), Marion is a gonzo enhancer of anything that's artistic or fun in Louisiana.

He's an adept photographer as well as business owner and community booster.

His check for himself and wife, Ginger, will help take care of the brass band music on Feb 3.

Blanc et Noir Twelfth Night lunch 08: Lee Spruell, Tarama Davenport, Zama Jones Dexter / Shreveport

Zama Blanchard Jones Dexter, charter member of B&N, has renewed her commitment with check and attendance at the 12th Night lunch.

Zama is a highly competent painter and active traveler. Talbot says Zama is a "Shreveport native with roots in Dixie, free-thinking and well-traveled. And she's a terrific artist."

Zama's paintings have been shown at Montessori Art Auction and tons of places. She has private commissions from California and Louisiana.
She is also known for her sharp wit and insight into the foibles of life and politics.

Zama has childrean - and grandchildren - in Shreveport, Houston and Richmond, Va.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Blanc et Noir Twelfth Night lunch: red beans & rice, gumbo, King cake and even Roscon de Reyes

Lee Spruell, Tarama Davenport and Zama Jones eating red beans, gumbo and sweet cornbread at Brother's Seafood, downtown Shreveport.

Lee brought both the King cake and the Roscon de Reyes, " a traditional dessert, served the night before or morning of “Reyes” or Epiphany, January 6th. "Dia de Reyes" or simply "Reyes" is the day when children in Spain receive gifts from the "Reyes Magos"–Wise Men or Magi. The 3 kings who brought baby Jesus gifts. Instead of gifts from Santa Claus, they receive them from the "Reyes Magos."

It is traditional to put several surprises inside the "roscon." A porcelain figure of a baby wrapped in foil and a dry bean are hidden in the dough. Whoever finds the baby will have good luck and be the king of the party, but if you find the bean - pay for the cake!

For the record, Tony Reans got the baby in the King cake.