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Leah Chase Interview, Part 1
Clarence Jones Jr.
Topics Include: Growing up in the 7th Ward as opposed to in Treme, music, neighborhood culture, Treme vs. 7th Ward, Mardi Gras Indians, second line clubs.
Leah Chase recounts memories of Tremé and the 7th Ward, describing Tremé as being full of life, and the 7th Ward described as more of a bore. Chase defines a "ward" as a political district, but each of the residents can make the neighborhood their own. In the 7th Ward, people lived a programmed life doing the same thing every day, working jobs like construction workers and seamstresses. Chase says that it never fit into her idea of living, mostly because of the lack of constant music and flow of people. There were Catholic Churches in the 7th Ward and Chase describes them as where all of the priests thought they were the Pope. The most music that she heard was from her family radio, where they would sit and listen to Louis Armstrong when he was on the air. Chase went to elementary school in Madisonville and then high school in the 7th Ward, both of which were taught by nuns. In contrast, Chase describes Tremé as being very lively. The first things that come to mind are music, street parades, and food. Chase thinks that music is the key to life-- you can see life in a different way when there's music around, and it helps people get through tough times while enjoying the good times. According to Chase, Tremé was a place where people could be free to dress, act, and be how they liked, and she loves that about it.
MusicJazzCultureMardi Gras IndiansMourning customsNeighborhoods
Amistad Research Center; Tulane University Digital Library
Box 1, Item 2, Side 1, Treme Oral History Project collection, 1993-1994, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Physical rights are retained by the Amistad Research Center. Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. Copyright laws.