Linda drinking beer at 8:30!

Early Morning March 4,2005

We are sitting in Cafe du Monde enjoying beignets and robust coffee. It’s an overcast day, but we don’t care for we are in the Crescent city. This is NOLA, a city of dark secrets, rich gumbo, ancient ghosts, and spontaneous celebrations.

We are enjoying the atmosphere of the cafe, for it is lively and loud. Above the din of the cafe noise, I hear the sound of a joyous trumpet. Taking our coffee to go we begin a stroll down the rain slick street. Following the music, we know we are getting closer for we hear people laughing.

It’s a parade, and it looks to be for St Patrick’s Day but that’s a few weeks away. My husband who can talk to anyone, asks a guy- hey what’s this? The guy tells him, Come on, join us- it’s a Practice St. Patrick’s Day Parade! Who knew you have practice parades? We spent the rest of the morning in the parade, talking and walking with folks, stopping to drink at every bar we passed. They were some of the nicest people we’ve ever met on our travels.

Little did we know, that following August Katrina would hit and devastate the city. We often wonder if those wonderful people we met made it through.

and the rains came down
Katrina flooding NOLA
and still, the music

©2021 Linda Lee Lyberg

Author’s Note: We will never forget this trip and our unplanned participation in the Practice Parade. I had never drunk a beer before at 8:30 in the morning!

dVerse Poetics: Mardi Gras Mambo

31 Comments on “NOLA

  1. Lots o’ loot around your necks. I tell you, that city refuses to die. I went down to help after Katrina and yes, still the music. It was a third world country but still….I have a feeling, a lot of those folks made it through. NOLA is just that kind of place. The Bonton Café, the Camellia Grill, Antoines…they all flooded but they are back. Big time. I love your wondering at the end about the people. And yes, they are some of the best folks in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a great story, and then that shocking ending. Leaving Katrina aside – impossible though that is – I love your piece, and the pictures. We should all practice parading more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Linda, for bringing ‘rich gumbo, ancient ghosts, and spontaneous celebrations’ to an overcast, very windy East Anglian morning. I like that there is as much fun in a practice parade as there is in the real one. Our wind is nowhere near as strong as Katrina but I’m amazed at the stoicism of the people and their music. I love the images, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such trips are just the best! We had a little carnival here last week and it was awesome:)

    All the best

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s just the best when you feel welcomed into something and not just a googly-eyed onlooker. I’m glad you had such a positive experience of the city. You should watch a fascinating documentary by Spike Lee about Katrina, called “When the Levees Broke.” And for some reason I can’t read your haiku as your party picture is covering it. Would you mind writing just the haiku in a comment?


  6. One can’t help but wonder what happened to all those local revelers, partying unaware in your photos. The tragedy that was Katrina will linger long in our minds.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And still the music…
    My friend from New Orleans has this quote at the bottom of all her email

    “We dance even if there’s no radio. we drink at funerals. we talk too much & laugh too loud & live too large, and, frankly, we’re suspicious of others who don’t.”
    ― Chris Rose, 1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: