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EN GARDE UNDER THE DUELING OAKS

New Orleans teaches swordplay to its youngsters
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A hundred years ago the ground beneath a clump of oak trees in what is now New Orleans' city park was often watered with the blood of hot-tempered young Creoles who went there to settle their differences with swords. Today Dueling Oaks again hears the clash of steel. The New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) has revived the art of fencing, and 170 children from 7 to 18 are being schooled by maître d'armes Clement (Frenchy) J. Ledet Jr.

Pupils who prove adept at skewering opponents in the NORD program graduate into the adult fencing clubs of New Orleans where they may continue their swordplay and become experts. Meanwhile the current class of young bloods, male and female, are busy at their sport with the cry of touché only occasionally replaced by a triumphant "Gotcha!"

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BRADLEY SMITH

YOUNG FENCERS in foil class take guard position on command of Instructor Frenchy Ledet.

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BRADLEY SMITH

SABER DUEL BEGINS WITH LUNGE

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BRADLEY SMITH

FOIL EXPERTS FROM NEW ORLEANS FENCING CLUB GIVE SUNDAY EXHIBITION BEFORE THE MOSS-HUNG DUELING OAKS. THE PAIR AT LEFT ARE EN GARDE, WHILE AT RIGHT THE LUNGE IS EXECUTED

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BRADLEY SMITH

DEFENDER TRIES EVASIVE ACTION

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BRADLEY SMITH

THE COUNTERATTACK IS LAUNCHED

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BRADLEY SMITH

AFTER THE LUNGE, FENCER RECOVERS