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May 14, 201208:14 AM
The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

Understanding Shelby Stanga

Abby Miller Photograph

Please help me understand Shelby Stanga. I know this: He is one of the lumbermen featured in the History Channel’s reality show, “Axmen.” There are several axe swingers from across the country on the program. Stanga is the Louisiana guy who spends his time in a Tangipahoa parish swamp mostly pulling out sinker logs. He has a dog named Piss Willy who understands French but only in the dialect spoken by Stanga, Oh, yes, he’s a TV star, a big star.

I remember the History Channel back when I thought the “H” in its logo stood for Hitler. The Channnel’s programmers, however, have apparengtly found a formula of real people doing real things - "Ice Road Truckers," "Pawn Stars" - and it must be working.

I am especially aware of Stanga because in January 2011 one of our publications, Louisiana Life, ran an article about Stanga that was posted on this site, and we are still getting responses.

We try hard here to collect and provide lots of varied information to you folks, but so far, I suspect nothing that we can do creates the interest of Stanga, even if we would:

     • Reveal a cure for Cancer
     • Display Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate
     • Prove that there was no Saints Bounty program but that it was an Atlanta Falcons conspiracy
     • Write a biography, with pictures, of the Navy Seal who shot bin Laden

None of these things would cause the reaction that Stanga does. Not even does what's-his-name, the alligator hunter, get the same reaction.

So what’s the secret? Several of our responses say that Stanga should have his own show. Is it his style? His profession? His dog? I would like to know; so too, I reckon, would the programmers for the other cable channels.

Krewe: The Early New Orleans Carnival-Comus to Zulu by Errol Laborde is available at all area bookstores. Books can also be ordered via email at gdkrewe@aol.com or (504) 895-2266.


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The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde


Errol LabordeErrol Laborde holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Orleans and is the editor-in-chief of Renaissance Publishing. In that capacity he serves as editor/associate publisher of New Orleans Magazine and editor/publisher of Louisiana Life magazine.

Errol is also a producer and a regular panelist on Informed Sources, a weekly news discussion program broadcast on public television station WYES-TV, Channel 12. Errol is a three-time winner of the Alex Waller Award, the highest award given in print journalism by the Press Club of New Orleans. He also received the National and City Regional Magazine Association Award for Best Column for his New Orleans Magazine column, beating out 76 city magazines across the country. In 2013, Errol received the award for the "Best News Affiliated Blog," awarded by the Press Club of New Orleans.

Errol’s most recent books are Krewe: The Early Carnival from Comus to Zulu and Marched the Day God: A History of the Rex Organization. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and traveling with his wife, Peggy, to anywhere they can get away to, but some of his favorite spots are the Caribbean and historic locations around Louisiana. You can reach Errol at (504) 830-7235 or errol@myneworleans.com.




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