Blaze Foley

Day Sixteen

Why should we take any sex advice from the Pope? If he knows anything about it. He shouldn’t. George Bernard Shaw

St Louis Cathedral (rear view)

William is waiting for me on the stoop just after 8 am. Thursday is his shopping day. There is a Rouses’ Market here in the Quarter but it nothing like the size of the Supermarkets we are used to back home. We drove over to Mid-City to shop at a Win Dixie, which is similar to Coles New World or Safeway. Lots of fresh produce and many two for one items.

We were done and dusted just after 9 and back home at 9:20. The streets of the French Quarter are washed down each morning, firstly, by a sweeper truck and then another truck spraying a high pressured water spray and some sort of disinfectant that helps clean up the previous night’s excesses. This happens every morning on the left-hand side of the streets. Because of the narrow streets in the Quarter there is no parking allowed on the left-hand side of streets for either locals or tourists. However on Thursdays there is no parking allowed on the right hand side of the streets. Even the locals must not park on the street that morning. What a great pain in the butt this is for people with parking permits. They all keep an eye out for the cleaning trucks and quickly more their cars to another street. The parking officers are ruthless on Thursdays. I watched with amusement as a truck makes its way down the street and the driver spots an illegal parker. He stops, gets on the radio and a few minutes later a tow truck is on the scene. Within another few minutes the offending cart is off to the pound. The two cleaning vehicles follow and sweep and wash the right side of the street. Two cars were towed from our block this morning.

Kate has sent through a Facebook message warning me of the Tornado alert for this afternoon. I don’t think the family back home have any confidence in my ability to stay safe.

I headed out to Envie’s for a Cranberry Scone and Iced Latte. There are many familiar faces in the café. Envies’ is a hangout for aging gray-haired ponetailed hippies.

John, the delivery guy from the corner Quarter Master told me that he anticipates the storm coming in around 2:30-3 pm. Although he did say not to be surprised if the storm is not as bad as is being anticipated. Storms such as this often hit the North Shore and then miss New Orleans proper. We will wait and see.

By Noon it is a little dark with a few spots of rain. By 4 o’clock it is evident that John was correct in his assessment. The rain is heavy with a little distant thunder but it is nothing to write home about (even though I am, I guess!)

The Aussie neighbor I told you about earlier knocked on the door. She has invited me to an afternoon Easter Crawfish boil with her friends in Uptown this Saturday. I will have to take it easy as I am meeting up with Pat and Gentilly Jnr that same night. I though she told me her name was Narelle, however she gave me her Business Card and it is Nerolie. She works as an Annual Fund Manager with the University of New Orleans. She said she had won a ten year working Green Card in a lottery. Her dog even made the trip from Australia to call New Orleans home.

I am off to Chickie Wah Wah to meet up with Johnny Sansone and his partner Michelle. The music club opens at 5 with the support act staring at 6:30. I hailed a cab from my stoop at 5:15. I said to the cab driver, ‘what happened to the storm?’ He said, ‘you don’t never listen to the weather man in New Orleans.’ ‘ You gotta listen to the man that makes the weather!’

I got to Chickee Wah Wah’s just after 5:30. I am the only one in the bar. Even the support act (Phil DeGruy) is not in yet. The barman introduced himself (Murf), he has a show on WWOZ called the ‘New Orleans Music Show.’ The owner of the club, Dale Triguero, came over and sat and talked to me for ages. He knew Melbourne well as back in 1991 he did an East Coast motorbike tour of Australia. He was recently at the Americana Festival in Nashville ads showed me a photo on his phone of two Australian artists he liked. Suzannah Espie and C W Stoneking. Small world eh?

Phil came in to set-up for his support slot. At the moment I am the audience along with Murf and Dale. By the time Phil started the audience has swelled to four. Phil, to say the best thing I can, was interesting. On another planet, yes for sure, hilarious at times as well. He was funny but continually stuffed up his guitar work and forgot lines from his own songs. I want to like him but he it is hard work.

The main man tonight is the singer/songwriter/guitarist Ben Dickey. Ben starred in the Ethan Hawke biopic about the legendary Blaze Foley. The movie was well received at the Sundance Film Festival. Dale also told me a fair amount of the history of Ben. He is the man that was almost famous both as an actor and musician but life had been tough for him. Dale gave me the password for the WiFi. Here it is if you ever need to log in at Chickie Wah Wah. Fuckum0r0n. I kid you not. Check out Blaze Foley on a Google search and if you can, have a look at the movie. I guess that there was maybe forty people in the house for Ben’s set including (I was told) some of the actors from the Blaze Foley movie. He certainly deserved a much bigger crowd. And here I am worrying about the WOW gigs. Dale told me that unfortunately a lot of New Orleanians are a bit blasé about the music presented in their own town.

Ben is a mighty fine performer and I picked up his latest CD for fifteen bucks. As I was leaving for the night, Dale came over to thank me for coming in early and hanging out for both artists. He told me of some upcoming gigs at his club. Dan Penn is a must see. Dale said that the gig would be packed but he will guarantee me a bar-stool. That was nice.

Washing Day

Day Fifteen

It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged. G. K. Chesterton

It’s the washing day blues for me today.

There are reports in the paper of a real bad storm coming in to annoy us tomorrow. Tornado warning included.

Being Wednesday, there is free music at Lafayette Square tonight. Pat messaged to say she might meet me there. Also, I have an invitation from Pat and Gentilly Jnr to meet up at Big Dave’s bar (the Artisan) on St. Claude this Saturday night.

Around mid-afternoon I was feeling so damn tired. I might be coming down with a cold. I messaged Pat to make my apologies as I have decided to stay in tonight. Pat messaged back, somewhat bemused, she had said she would be at the Square next Wednesday, not today. That’s good as now I don’t feel so guilty for standing her up.

I had a bit of a Nanna nap and woke up hungry. Off to the Verti Mart for a fried oyster Po Boy.

Not exciting reading for today, I am afraid. Sure don’t have the stamina of thirty years ago.