Roy J. Rodney, Jr. Rodney and Etter, LLC
I read the article Gordon Russell wrote in NOLA.com on the death of Stanford “Pampy” Barre’. It was shameful and disrespectful, to Stan Barre’, his contribution to the City of New Orleans as an African American entrepreneur, and to his family. I grew up in a New Orleans when it was unheard of to speak ill of the dead and to emphasize their troubles so disproportionately to their accomplishments. It was noticeably clear from the article that Stan was viewed very differently in the White community than in the Black community where he was admired and beloved.
Stan was a graduate of St. Augustine High School and a devoted alumnus who financially supported all its efforts to expand and excel. He served his country in the U.S. Army and then joined the New Orleans Police Department where he was charged with the responsibility of protecting the highest ranked officials of the City. After his career as a police officer, he became a remarkable and accomplished African American entrepreneur.
He was one of the avid promoters of the World’s Fair and funded one of its more popular culinary venues. He took that expertise and opened one of the best restaurants in the City; Pampy’s. He hired acclaimed chefs, including Austin Leslie, and insisted on the highest grade of food and service. Pampy could have opened his restaurant in any city or any downtown location but chose the community he grew up in and loved, the 7th Ward in New Orleans. It became a go-to spot for luminaries of every description, business people, celebrities, athletes, elected officials and patrons from every walk of life.
Stan was also a philanthropist of the highest order providing funding for numerous charities, African American institutions including St. Augustine High School and women owned ventures, often anonymously and without fanfare. He had a heart of gold.
He became one of the owners of the New Orleans Brass Hockey Team, the only African American hockey franchise in the history of the world and the only professional sports franchise which ever existed in our City.
The article implied that Stan only benefited from his political activities. The truth is he funded many campaigns of African American politicians when no one else did the key to his influence was not anything nefarious but that he was a supporter of African American political empowerment before that concept was ever popular. To Stan Barre’, Black Lives Matter.
Stan’s list of accomplishments is almost too numerous to mention. It is a fact that he made a mistake for which he paid the price, served his time, and resumed his position and activities as an undaunted supported of Black life in our community.
The Stan “Pampy” Barre’ I know was open, fun loving and gregarious. He was a loving husband, devout father and grandfather and a bold and innovative businessman. The Stan I knew will be missed greatly by those who actually knew him and understood that he was an asset to our community.
If Pampy had not died during the height of the Coronavirus Pandemic, I don’t think there’s a funeral home in New Orleans that could have housed all the loved ones, friends, associates, and admirers of Stan “Pampy” Barre’.