Legendary Locals of Metairie

Vernon & Gilda Haynes

This website contains excerpts along with some of the 172 photographs in Legendary Locals of Metairie (Arcadia Publishing, 2013) by Catherine Campanella.
Use the links here to explore a sample of the book -- or purchase it for an in-depth view.


The couple whose memory is honored by the school on Metairie Road were a most interesting pair. Arkansas native Vernon “Lefty” Carlton Haynes was a man of few words. Metairie born Gilda Dorothia Pohlig was an outspoken ball of fire. They met when he was officiating a basketball game in which she was a player. He called a foul on her and she became foul with him.

He had a BA from Tulane and an M.Ed in administration from LSU. She dropped out of Tulane to take a job modeling swimwear. He made a living coaching sports while she dreamed of becoming a professional basketball player – a prospect her father would not allow.

These opposites attracted and were married on November 2, 1935 at Metairie Presbyterian Church. Lefty said he picked the date because his father and grandfather had also had their weddings on the second day of November. Vernon and Gilda were married for 38 years.

He was a principal at Metairie High who oversaw hundreds of students offered a variety of courses. She was an alumnae (Class of 1928 which included nine graduates) who said, while slamming her fist on a table, “We didn't have all these electives. That was the ruination of the schools. They need to get back to basics”. Despite the different ideologies they both were tireless in working with and for young people.

Vernon was an All-American football star at Tulane who played in the 1932 Rose Bowl. Gilda, who was a student in the Metairie Ridge Schoolhouse, was a standout basketball player and one of the best bowlers in the south. He was inducted into the Tulane Athletic Hall of Fame posthumously in 1982. She was named to the Louisiana State U.S. Congress of Bowlers Women's Bowling Association Hall of Fame in in 1987.

Together they owned Bowl-A-Rama at 1008 Jefferson Highway which she managed from 1956 until his death in 1973 at age 62. She then served on the Jefferson Parish School Board from 1974 through 1980. Gilda passed away in 1995.

Their home at 126 Brockenbraugh Court is gone, the property long taken over by Munholland Methodist Church. But their memory lives on a few blocks away in the school named for them. (Courtesy of Carlyle Dana Vann.)

His first coaching job was at Fortier (1932) then at Warren Easton (1933-35) where he also taught. After a stint in Ouachita Parish schools (1935-40) he coached at Tulane (1941-49) where he was head basketball coach. From 1949-51 he coached in Newport News, Virginia then move back home in 1951 to teach and coach in public schools. From 1958-1960 he served on the parish council and was a superintendent of schools from 1961-73. Lefty was also an avid bowler.

The first manager of Airline Bowl at 7401 Airline (1962), Gilda was a charter member Louisiana Women's Bowling Association (1966), the first woman chairman of a local Professional Bowling Association tournament (at Pelican Lanes in 1974), and recipient of an LWBA outstanding service to female bowling award in recognition of two decades of work with children


Other books by Catherine Campanella:

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book is dedicated to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation's efforts to rebuild and maintain the historic New Canal Lighthouse.

Excerpts from New Orleans City Park  (Images of America).

Contact Catherine Campanella