Live purple love gold. In 1958 my mother, Gloria Mangin, and her friend Cynthia Songy, both graduates of Annunciation High School in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, attended LSU. She traveled to Baton Rouge with her blue luggage monogrammed “GAM” (the “A” named for Angel Pironi, her grandmother who lived at 623 Bourbon St in the 1890s) labeled with “L” Tiger stickers on the front and back. She received an “L” Student Official Handbook of Student Life and signed the inside cover. She began the fall semester in business and bought a 1958 LSU ceramic mug in the student bookstore. The girls’ images were captured on page 116 of the “Gumbo” yearbook. Billy Cannon made a fabulous run that fall in Tiger Stadium and the Tigers won their first [claimed] National Football Championship. Shortly thereafter, she met Thomas J. Albert, Sr., a New Orleans policeman and they married the following year. In 1959, Her father, Marcel E. Mangin, Sr. (whose family had resided above their blacksmith shop at 623 Bourbon St.) built a modest house in a new suburb the lower Ninth Ward for the newly weds. The red brick home was a few blocks from local musician Fats Domino, the author’s favorite artist. The LSU mug resided there in the home on a shelf in her china closet where the author would admire it--the tiger handle and purple and gold raised “LSU”. The home took on one foot of water in Hurricane Betsy from a gaping hole in the levee of the Industrial Canal two blocks away. The family moved to a newer suburb called New Orleans East in 1969 where the mug enjoyed a new location on the middle shelf . In 1979 Thomas Sr. died in the line-of-duty at his desk in the 8th District as the second police strike raged during a Mardi Gras that was cancelled. Years passed, the author attended LSU in Baton Rouge and its affiliated medical school in New Orleans, inspired by that mug for all that is purple and gold. LSU claimed another title in 2003 as the mug watched the game from its perch. Then, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina filled the home with 7-feet of swirling waters and winds that took down many internal and external walls and left little recognizable., except a few surviving shelf items. The author , his wife and three children cleared her house of everything and created a pile of debris so large at the curb that the Google satellite remarkably captured the garbage mountain in its famous map of post-Katrina New Orleans (6940 Curran Rd). The mug moved to Texas and was an excellent stein from which to drink Dom Perignon in 2007 when LSU won her third football title. LSU has since researched the curious mug and has found no record of another. Perhaps, too many hurricanes have ravaged the state in a half-century since its production. Maybe though, it has a ceramic twin somewhere about the Bayou State.
1958 LSU Football Championship Mug
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