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.