A son records an oral interview with his father, a baker and millwright (a term for “mechanic”) at Leidenheimer Baking Company in New Orleans, a company that also employed his grandfather. From our friends at the Southern Foodways Alliance (@potlikker). Joseph Darensbourg, Thomas Walsh, Dana Logsdon and Dorka Hegedus all contributed to this piece.

Joseph Darensbourg – “Mr. Joe” – is “part of a long line of German Creole craftsmen who worked for Leidenheimer Baking Company in New Orleans.” For more than forty years, Mr. Joe juggled two jobs, working as a baker/millwright for Leidenheimer and as a mechanic for Dillard University. He followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who both worked at the company.

Mr. Joe’s grandfather told him:


“If you work for the company, you’ll never get rained on, never get cold, and will never be without a job.”


Mr. Joe’s son – Joseph – worked in the bakery, but has opted to pursue other crafts. As he explained, his dad taught him this:


…he could use his apron for the study of the “daily bread of knowledge.”


A nice bit of writing, video and audio clips and a gallery of photographs round out this sweet offering.

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