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Dem bones gonna make ya smile

October 17, 2014 2:00 AM
Sally Asher sally@tulane.edu

Louellen Berger, wife of Tulane University Board chair Darryl Berger, began her Halloween “skeleton family” 12 years ago by creating Lazy Bones, who reclines on a descending limb from an oak tree on the front yard of the couple"s uptown New Orleans home on St. Charles Avenue. The next year, she added three frolicking gymnasts: Death Spiral, Dead Man"s Curve and Dead Ringer.

Louellen Berger adds four or five new skeletons to her annual yard display. She makes them all herself and comes up with most of the ideas. Some ideas are from her children and even a few strangers slip suggestions in the mail.

Skeleton Family

“If There Is a Rock "n" Roll Heaven” includes, from left, Scarrie Underwood, Rolling Bones, Bon-o, Bone-y Raitt, Bone Jovi and Scary Garcia of the Grateful Dead.

Skeleton Family

Along with Chilled to the Bone (commemorating this year"s ice bucket challenge), new additions to the display this year are Scarrie Underwood (a mail suggestion was Carrie Underground), No Bones About It, Olaf in Summer (from the movie Frozen) and 610 (Grave) Stompers.

This year, she also named her Grateful Dead skeleton Scary Garcia when her son Brandon insisted. From left are baby Brooks Berger, Hardin Kessler, Hayes Tiller, Ande Elizabeth Tiller, Avery Kessler Jr., Chilled and Wiley Kessler. Berger and the Tillers are the Bergers" grandchildren and the Kesslers are Tulane President"s Council member Gordon Kolb"s grandchildren.

Skeleton Family

Young fans of 610 Stompers are the Bergers" newest grandchildren Macy Tiller, left, and Brooks Berger with their grandmother “Lulu” Berger. Louellen Berger"s young friends call her “Mrs. Bones,” “Skeleton Lady” or “The Queen of Halloween.”

Skeleton Family

Louellen Berger gives an homage to Wedded Bliss: To Death Do Us Part. In one mapquest search, Darryl and Louellen Berger were surprised to see their house is titled “The Skeleton House.” Their grown children eventually posted a website titled Queen of Halloween.

Skeleton Family

TromBONE Shorty is a nod to popular New Orleans jazz musician Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, namesake of the Trombone Shorty Academy at Tulane University. Andrews visited his skeleton last year, Louellen Berger said.