It’s A Beautiful Day in this Neighborhood

Yesterday morning, I was taking YellowJacket to the mall so she could buy a cute outfit for the Bayou Classic’s Battle of the Bands.  As I reached the corner of my street and turned, I saw the most beautiful sight ahead of me,

MEN PLAYING GOLF ON THE GOLF COURSE!!

Now, I  know a lot of  folks are like…okkkkkaaayyy?!

Here’s the story,

As most you all already know, I was raised and currently live in a subdivision called Pontchartrain Park or ” da Park” as it’s affectionately called.  The subdivision was built during the 1950’s for blacks to become home owners during the time of segregation. It has a baseball stadium, basketball courts, tennis courts, a huge playground and a golf course.

The baseball stadium and golf course were destroyed by Katrina.

When Katrina hit, the city had just restored the golf course. I don’t think 60 days had passed before it was completely destroyed.

After the storm, we had no idea of what would happen to it.  The city couldn’t afford to rebuild it again and no recovery money was heading to this area to have it done.

Actor Wendell Pierce and Grammy winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard who also grew up in this area, took the bull by the horns and began to look for ways to have the golf course not only declared historical but, to have it restored as well.

Well, fast forward to today and the Joseph Bartholomew Golf Course  is now up and running!!

The golf course is absolutely beautiful!  Lawd, I’ve never seen so many black folks on a golf course in my life…lol

The fact that, it’s operational is not only a major step forward for this area but, the city as well.

Y’all have no idea what this does to my soul.  I grew up on this golf course. We used to walk across it and HOPE we didn’t get hit by a golf ball. I had one girlfriend who did get hit on the head…she had the biggest nugget on her eye for what seemed like forever.

I can sit on my balcony and watch  men play golf  again. It brings me joy. It brings joy to so many people.

NavySeal is chomping at the bit to get out there but, he still has some recouping to do before that can happen.  He’s recouping really fast so, he doesn’t have long to wait.

I’m just glad that, another part of NOLA’s history did not die with the storm.  So much of it did…this one was saved.  It’s not only a part of NOLA’s history but, black history as well.

Born in  NOLA in 1881, Joseph Bartholomew was the first African-American to design and build a public golf facility in the United States.

He designed and built the Metairie Golf Course, City Park courses 1 and 2, and numerous other courses across the Southeast. Because of his race, however, he wasn’t allowed to play on any of them.

During the 1950’s, he designed and built the Pontchartrain Park Golf Course.   It was the golf course that, he could finally play his favorite sport.

The man was a genius.

Rest In Peace Mr. Bartholomew.

She’s up and running again.

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10 thoughts on “It’s A Beautiful Day in this Neighborhood

  1. THANK YOU I TOO AM A PARK GIRL 5510 PRESS AND AFTER THE STORM WORRIED ABOUT THE GOLF COURSE, ONCE AGAIN THANK YOU FOR MAKIN FLA NOT SO FAR FROM PRESS DR. PS DID I TELL U I MISSED U…… TRY AND REMEBER PARENTS DO THE BEST THEY CAN AND DAD’S WELL YOU KNOW MUCH LLOVE

    • Ida, I am so glad I put this post out. If you were the only one to read it, it would have been worth it. You were a stone’s throw away from me. It’s funny how small this world actually is.

      In addition to the golf course, did you know that, they have torn down the stadium and putting up and entire new one?

      If you love the golf course, take a look at how the Wesley Barrow Stadium is gonna look!
      http://www.scnz.net/p_wesley.html#

      Also, if you really want stay in tune to what’s going on back here, here’s the link to our neighborhood association. You know, I’m gonna post anything going on but, I know what it’s like to be homesick so, if you ever need a quick fix…go to this site.

      http://www.pontchartrainpark.org

  2. It is so cool to see the pictures of the rebuilt course! I watched a television special earlier this year about Wendell Pierce’s efforts to rebuild and it was exciting to see his passion for it…but to see the actual pictures now is amazing! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Hey Diva!!
      Thanks for stopping by. I’m always lurking around your blog, it’s wonderful.

      We’re really excited about the golf course.

  3. Great news, Cliff. I didn’t actually know that you live in Ponchartrain Park, but I do follow Wendell Pierce on FB and I am aware of his efforts on behalf of that part of the city. He seems like a good person.

    I’m glad to hear that you got back a little bit of what you lost in the storm. It’s not enough, but it’s something. Take care.

    • Thanks for the comment Kevin. Wendell is a very good person. I’ve known him for many years and he’s always had a good heart.

      I know everyone is thinking “why does it say Cliff” in the comment? That’s because one of my favorite bloggers Cliff, was wonderful enough to put my post on his facebook page. Thanks again Cliff.

  4. That is awesome! I met Wendell on set last year when we were filming Ivy League. He seemed like a very nice laidback guy. Glad to know he still has a heart for the city. So many folks “make it” and forget where they are from.

  5. Newy, You’re right a lot of folks do forget where they’re from. Wendell is very laid back.In fact, his entire family is.
    We all grew up together.I had Wendell one a block away to the left and Terence, a block to the right. I can not recall one time when either of them had an unkind word to say about anyone. They were always liked by everyone they encountered.
    How they are today is how they’ve always been….just really good people.

  6. You know I lived in Metairie during the 90s. I don’t ever remember even wallking on a golf course when I lived there.

    Now the house that I sold earlier this year here in South Carolina was on a golf course. I lived in that house for 6 years and yet I’ve never played a round of golf in my life.

    Still, it’s nice to see the city come back. New Orleans will always be a part of me.

    • Reg, when I was growing up back here, we saw very few black men on the course.
      My daughter golfs so, she can’t wait to get out there with NavySeal.
      I won’t be out there unless, I’m sitting at the clubhouse eating something.
      I’m glad to see the city come back as well.

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