by Red Cotton
(from the Backstreet Cultural Museum)
A celebration of the life of Collins "Coach" Lewis will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at the Charbonnet-Labat-Glapion Funeral Home, 1615 St. Philip Street. Viewing will take place from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. followed by a Cultural Program from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The funeral service begins at 10 a.m. followed by a traditional Mardi Gras Indian procession. A repast will be held at the Treme Community Center.
Collins Lewis, whom everyone simply called "Coach," passed away on Friday, August 5, 2011 at the age of 62.
Coach was a member of the Spirit of Fi-Yi-Yi and the Mandigo Warriors Mardi Gras Indian gang since its inception in 1984. He acted as Chief Victor Harris' "Commissioner of Sewing." Beyond his abilities with a needle and thread, Coach was also noted for his drumming and singing.
For over 40 years Coach was active with the Tambourine & Fan organization. It was while working with its youth football team, the Louis Hunters, that he got his nickname.
"He was a culturalist and a historian," says Harris of his longtime friend. "He loved the culture."