FLEUR DE LIS

Posted on: December 20 2007
NEW ORLEANS PRIDE, WEEK OF DECEMBER 31, 2007

FLEUR DE LIS
Light Standards on Canal Street

An old truism we have all heard states: when you live close to the forest, you sometimes don't see the trees. Another old saying is: never ask a native about the history of his city. The reason: he is possibly too close to the forest to see the trees.

Pieces of history about New Orleans that people by the thousands pass every day of the year without paying any attention to are the light standards on Canal Street from the river to North Rampart and down North Rampart to the Municipal Auditorium.

If you look closely, you will not the three large glass light gloves are arranged to represent the fleur de lis, which is the emblem of France. The reason is: they were a gift from the people of Paris, France, to their sister city, New Orleans.

When they were dedicated on February 24, 1930, Canal Street became the most illuminated main thoroughfare in the world.

There is one other interesting piece of trivia reference the light standards - the man who threw the switch was none other than Thomas Edison.

NEW ORLEANS TERMINOLOGY
PISTOLETTE
Food was used as a part of the sporting ritual in the days when dueling was allowed. Since most duels were held early in the morning, before any Creole gentleman went on the field of honor he would first have black coffee and bread to fortify himself for what was to come, as well as against the dampness. The bread he ate was a small, hard-crusted loaf with a cylinderlike shape, about four to five inches long and two to three inches in diameter. Since the pistol was one of the instruments used most often in duels and the little short French roll looked something like a small pistol, the mini-bread became known as the pistolette. Even though we no longer have dueling, we still have the pistolette.

PEARLS OF WISDOM
Life is not measured by the number of breaths one takes but by the moments that take our breath away.

Those who enjoy their work will receive a good portion of those moments in carrying out their duties.