DAY 193 Carolyn Williams photographed exclusively for the 100 Men Hall People Project (100MHPP).
My parents used to come because they were part of the organization. We would come here for dances or whatever other event was going on back in the day. My dad and his brother (three other brothers with my dad) owned pulp wood and they employed a lot of the guys in that time. My mom was a domestic worker. We all went to St. Rose. I remember they would have their carnival balls and all the good stuff here and different singers would come. I remember one time, they had Etta James, Irma Thomas, Ernie K Doe, and then locals like Guitar Bo and Dee. Then what was so killing there was a house [caretaker’s cottage] that was on the side, my mother’s brother Walter Davis and his wife lived there. When they had big singers here, we’d come around here to my uncle’s and he would have to help set up and open up the Hall. We would come through the side door sneaking in and we would peep in through that door, and my uncle would say, “All right now. Come on now.” But then when we got to be teenagers we would be able to come in for the dancing and the partying. There was no place to go around here. We would come right here. All ages were here. A couple of times there were balls and parties here and I would come with my mom, Etta Mae Williams and my dad. Then my mom would have her sister and brother in laws and we would have a great big old table here and we would sit and dance and eat and drink. We would come in and had to pay, we had to bring our own food, our own “libation” as my daddy called it. The door was to pay for the entertainers. They had an insurance group, the Children of Friendship. I always remember my parents talking about it and even my dad’s mom talked about it. In later years, after Katrina when Jesse and his wife restored it, they still were trying to get a little something to have a little venue for people to get out. There were different bands from along the coast, and my cousin Phil Williams and band would come in here. He would come with his different groups. He also did catering. I would be back here helping out catering while they were doing their thing.
(Photo by: Gus Bennett | The 100 Men Hall People Project)
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