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 ma√Ætre 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!"