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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

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Gertrude Mayfield

Mayfair Lounge

Miss Gertie, as she’s known to regulars, was a customer at the Mayfair Lounge for years before she and her husband bought the place in 1978. Five years later, Mr. Mayfield passed away, and Miss Gertie wasted no time setting herself up behind the bar, mixing drinks, and greeting customers. Once a neighborhood hangout for businessmen, Miss Gertie began catering to the younger college crowd to drum up more business. And cater to them she did. Some days you might find Miss Gertie dancing with a student from Tulane, making speeches from behind the bar for someone’s birthday, or even enjoying a little taste of Jägermeister. And while she isn’t handing fancy cocktails across the bar here, this is certainly a place filled with history. The Mayfair Lounge is a portrait of New Orleans bar culture when establishments catered to a male-only crowd and buzzers got you in the front door as early as seven in the morning. Today, everyone is welcome, and Miss Gertie will make sure you have a good time.

Date of interview:

Amy Evans


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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


Alex Raij Txikito

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