De Pope Tavern and Boat Launch

Parish: St. Bernard

Location: Violet

From :
Written by Sara-Ann Harris

“The Saturday night dance tradition including décima singing, Spanish/Isleño dinner, and speaking in Spanish fell away in the late 1940s. It was not revived. However, after Katrina, Edween Nunez, a man who grew up on Saturday night dances, reconstituted a variation on the custom.

After the storm, Edween relocated from lower St. Bernard to higher ground, like many Isleños. In the town of Violet at De Pope Tavern and Boat Launch, at 100 years of age Edween kicked off a Saturday night dance.

“Oh yea. I didn’t dance all the time,” said Edween, meaning it had been many years since the dance hall days. “You see I hadn’t been dancing much lately, but here [De Pope’s Tavern] I dance every week end.”

Just as everyone did at the turn of the 20th century dance halls, Edween’s favorites were the waltz and the fox trot. Here’s Johnny, the band at De Pope’s, picked the waltz up and began playing it on Saturday nights. Edween said, “Now everybody likes it! Yea.” He shook his head affirmatively.

Edween passed away a year and a half later, after his 102nd birthday.”

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