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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

< Back to Oral History project: The Brennan Family of New Orleans


Lynne Trist Brennan

Lynne Trist Brennan grew up in St. Bernard Parish in Arabi, a community west of New Orleans. Her father was a doctor, coroner, and later sheriff of their small town. The Trists and Brennans were family friends. Because Lynne and Dottie Brennan were the same age, they grew to be friends.

Lynne began dating Dick Brennan while he was at Tulane University and she was at Newcomb College. They married. Dick decided to go to law school, but his schooling was interrupted by military service. After six months in the military, he decided to go into the family business rather than return to law school due to his parents’ failing health.

Lynne fondly recalls the tight bond of the Brennan family. Dick and his siblings worked together to run the restaurants they opened. Lynne played a supporting role to the family’s restaurants. Self-described as the camp director, she often cared for her children, Lauren and Dickie, as well as her nephews and nieces while their mothers and fathers worked.

Lynne was known for her hospitality. She threw parties for Mardi Gras, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other events at their St. Charles Street residence. When the Brennan family bought the Friendship House restaurant in Biloxi, Mississippi, Dick and Lynne kept a few of the cabins that came along with the investment. As her children got older, Lynne entertained their cousins and friends at the Friendship House cabins. 

Date of interview:

Sara Roahen

Ava Lowrey

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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.


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