Dorothy Turnbull’s father was a member of one of the crewes that planned New Orleans’ annual Mardi Gras celebrations. She says in the 1940s, it wasn’t like it is now.
It’s a social business. And they planned each year, they have meetings and socials each year planning a carnival ball. They have to have a theme. My father was one of the crewe. They go down and they have it at the great auditorium – public auditorium. I don’t know what they’re doing today. It looks like they’re on the street drinking constantly (laughs), but those aren’t the crews, you see. But they plan a theme, and the theme that went along with this one, my father decided I should be in the court.
This is a photograph from the carnival ball in 1940, when Dorothy was a member of the crewe court. It comes from the collection of Dorothy Turnbull Stewart.