Brian Keith Labat
DAY 186 Brian Labat photographed exclusively for the 100 Men Hall People Project (100MHPP).
My grandparents were with the Hall. There was a time when this place didn’t have a roof. My grandfather was Joe Labat (Papa Joe). Daddy Joe was my grandfather, Teedy Boy was my father, and my mother was Carmen) – kids called my grandfather Papa. He was a bandleader in his younger years. (Great, great aunt) Teenie Labat used to call him a hand clapper because he played clarinet and he wasn’t that good, and so he would hire a bunch of musicians out of New Orleans and he would clap his hands. The band would ride around town to promote the dance. That was the advertisement - a sign on the side of the truck and then people would come to the Hall that night. My daddy had a haberdashery that he turned into a drycleaners. I knew about the Hall when I was a kid, I used to work at St. Rose and I used to come every Saturday to cut grass and pick up the trash so I always knew about the Hall. The first time I ever came in the Hall, I was a little older. I used to bartend Mardi Gras balls here. I was about 19. A Mardi Gras group, a group of friends who formed a krewe, the Krewe of Kinsky, used to hold dances here. I’ve been to a couple of events here before, but I moved away when I got older, and when I came back the Hall wasn’t vibrant then like it is now. I had a brother-in-law who saw James Brown and Fats Domino here.
(Photo by: Gus Bennett | The 100 Men Hall People Project)
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