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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.

ORAL HISTORY

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 putting herself 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 the seventy-five year-old 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 Jagermeister. Miss Gertie likes to have a good time. And while there aren’t a lot of fancy cocktails being handed across the bar here, this is certainly a place filled with history. The Mayfair Lounge is a portrait of what New Orleans bar culture was like when places like this 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:
2005-03-31 00:00

Interviewer:
Amy Evans

Photographer:

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