Leah Chase was an old friend of the family. My dad was a photographer and took pictures in both black and white schools during segregation. He would take his black clients to Dooky Chase for lunch. I suppose he was one of the only white people who frequented the place in those days.
In later years I would go there with my father for lunch. Mrs. Chase would always come out and chat. I remember going there once in the mid-1990s with my new digital camera (an early Kodak 600) and taking her picture. Like everyone at the time (digital cameras were brand new) she was fascinated to see the picture immediately on the LCD display on the back of the camera.
I mentioned that I would post it to the internet (I had a personal web site at the time). She drew the line at this. “Nah Ah. I don’t want to be on the internet. Somebody told me I was on the internet and I told them to take me off!”. I should have realized that like many of the old institutions in New Orleans, change came only very gradually to Dooky Chase.