Chiara Ishem Smith
DAY 094 Chiara Ishem Smith photographed exclusively for the 100 Men Hall People Project (100MHPP).
When I was five, I started coming to the Mardi Gras balls at the Hall. My mom was the queen and my dad was the king one year. Mostly, we would have to sit in the car for our parents to come out after the Balls. We would sometimes be in another room and then there was another time we were all sat at a table. We weren’t supposed to be here but everyone knew everyone. One of the last memories was of my Aunt Dorothy Mae Gilbert who married Bernard Labat. Every time I picture this place, I picture her at this place. Irene Benoit was the queen when my dad was the king. It wasn’t until after Katrina that was really when everything became significant here for me. I didn’t appreciate the beauty of Bay Saint Louis until it was destroyed and then to see the community come together and rebuild. It chokes me up. My mom Catherine Ishem was one of the first to be baptized in St. Rose. She was a huge part of the Merry Makers and the Mardi Gras ball. The first time I stepped foot in here recently was four years ago for a Lundi Gras party.
(Photo by: Gus Bennett | The 100 Men Hall People Project)
100MHPP RIGHTS USAGE TERMS: This official 100 Men Hall People Project (100MHPP) photograph is made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products or promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement by the 100 Men Hall People Project or Rachel Dangermond.
© 2019 The 100 Men Hall People Project (100MHPP)
#100MenHall #100MenHallPeopleProject #mgcnha #heritagearea #GusBennett #Mississippi