In fall 2013, historian John Barry lost his seat on the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) board, a victory for Gov. Bobby Jindal, and a setback for coastal restoration and flood protection for south Louisiana. But as Gambit political editor Clancy DuBos noted, it set him free to speak his mind.
It's probably not the first platform many would have guessed, but Barry was named 2014 king of Krewe Du Vieux. Barry will lead the krewe on its procession through Faubourg Marigny and the French Quarter Feb. 15. Artist Dawn DeDeaux was named royal consort.
Barry is the author of the best-selling Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America and The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Greatest Plague in History.
Barry was vice-chairman of SFLPA-E, which in July filed suit against oil companies seeking compensation for the oil and gas industry damages to coastal wetlands. Barry's summary of the suit and the politics surrounding his removal from the board are here.
Krewe du Vieux typically choses satirical themes, and past royalty have included Dr. John, Women With a Vision Director Deon Haywood, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation (and past Contemporary Arts Center) Director Don Marshall, R&B legends Ernie K-Doe, Frankie Ford and Irma Thomas, former Times-Picayune cartoonist Walt Handelsman, writer and bon vivant Andre Codrescu and others.