Kings and queens tell the area’s story in drawings and recollections
They were a momento tossed to adoring crowds by kings and queens, but over the 40 years what appeared to be scraps of paper ended up chronicling the very town of Luling itself.
They were scrolls, serving as a personal throw for each king and queen who reigned over the Krewe of Lul.
“Typically, the scroll depicts an individual theme, a historical place or an event tied to the reigning royal couple,” said parade Captain Debbie Dufresne Vial.
“Throughout the 40 years of the parade’s history there have been many sites along the parade route which were from a collection of works by local artist and resident of Luling, Janis Blair.”
The first one came in 1980 with the reign of Clamay and Clotilde Babin.
The scroll has a drawing of PaPa John’s Bar and Bussalacchi’s Restaurant, site of the parade concept origination, Vial said. It commemorates the reign of the first three kings and queens – the Bussalacchis, Mongrues and Babins.
Blair’s work on the scrolls also included the original Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Taft, as well as St. Mark’s Catholic Church and the site of the marriages of reigning royalty.
They’ve also included drawings of local plantation homes, including Ellington and Homeplace, as well as residences of the Tastet, Woodruff, Oubre, Troxler and Champagne families, Vial said.
The scrolls have even featured local bars like Papa John’s that have also been used like the Idle Hour and Vial’s Corner Bar.
Some of them recorded landmarks that “ain’t dere no more” or “ain’t used for dat no more,” but kept their memory alive on paper, according to Vial.
Among sites remembered are Bergeron Machine Shop and Garage, Klondike Grocery Store, Luling General Hospital, Webre Brothers, Landry Lumber, Luling Theater, St. Charles Sales & Service, Faucheux’s Garage, the original St. Charles Parish Courthouse and Hahnville High School, Claudet’s Barber Shop, Madere’s Garage, Dudes & Dads Clothing, former Luling Post office buildings and the Icehouse.
The scrolls also captured prominent sites like the Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge or Luling Bridge and Lagarde Oak on River Road, she said.
While Blair’s work was featured prominently in the scrolls, Vial said there were other artists who contributed to what has become a sort of historical collection. They were Regina Champagne Babin, Peyton Dufrene and even many artistically talented family members like Jaci Friloux who designed the 25th anniversary scroll for her grandparents Mona and Beano Eusea.
This year’s 40th anniversary scroll won’t be unveiled until the parade rolls on Saturday, which is being designed by Rhea Loupe Dufrene.Added Vial, “I can’t wait to see it on parade day.”