Bob Ann Breland-Looking back at Mardi Gras brings good remembrances

Published 5:30 am Saturday, February 18, 2023

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When I take a look way back, I remember so many things and events from covering Mardi Gras for the newspaper, particularly the Krewe of MCCA in Bogalusa.
My first taste ever of any Mardi Gras was when my son was playing in the school band and they participated in a parade in Covington. Naturally his dad and I and his sisters were all there for the event. It was nice, but created not so much interest for me.
Over time I kept saying I was going to New Orleans to see the parades there, but I always found a reason not to go. I did watch the parades in Bogalusa.
Then, much later on, I was put in charge of getting Mardi Gras stories and photos for the tabloid section The Daily News prints every year and in arranging and editing the section. I visited many people and interviewed for stories and took lots and lots of photos.
One queen I interviewed in the past was so taken away by it, she really though she was a real queen. Imagination can really take us places. These royals should be honored, but few are completely taken away!
When I first started going to the annual MCCA ball, I took many notes while I also took photos. It was quite a job for one person. Finally, we hired a photographer and he took a big load off this girl. All I had to do was sit and make notes and the next day write about the event.
One of the most outstanding events I attended was the king and queen’s party when the late Greg Genco was MCCA King. Surprisingly, Greg rode into the American Legion Hall on an elephant! Everybody was stunned! Of course it was so much like Greg to do that. We sweetly remember him.
Another person I really remember from the MCCA group is the late Dixie Gallaspy. She was so easy to interview and as the first queen, she remembered a lot from way back to share with me. A much missed lady.
I took photos at a few parades in the past, but was relieved of that early on. One parade I attended so many years ago was while my son was attending college. He was home for the weekend and went to the parade with me.
One of the children in the family, about age four, was there with his mother and was really upset because he couldn’t see the parade. Feeling sorry for the little guy, my son picked him up and put him on his shoulders. That made the boy really happy.
A few days later, we heard this little one had chicken pox. Alas, given the proper time frame passing, my son also broke out with the chicken pox. He was such a sick young man and really suffered. The doctor said it was one of the worst cases he had ever seen.
Since it was spring semester at college, while recuperating, he missed enough classes that he lost the semester. When it was all over, he decided to go into the U.S. Navy. After six years in the navy, he did go back to school and get his degree. He will never forget that parade!
With all those years of Mardi Gras activity while at the newspaper, I hope to go to the MCCA parade on Saturday. Usually people come from all over to see the local parade. Rain is predicted, but maybe it will hold off, as so few of the parades of the past have been deterred by rain.
Many are my memories! The MCCA people work hard to produce a great adventure for the year.
A postscript from last week: After unplugging my 15-year-old refrigerator for a couple of days and letting it defrost, I plugged it back in, and it is running fine. Try this before throwing out a mal-functioning fridge!

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at