Days Seventeen and Eighteen

Don’t do drugs because if you do drugs you’ll go to prison, and drugs are really expensive in prison. John Hardwick

Crawfish Boil

Good Friday

I am combining two days of blogging into one. Honestly, I did nothing much on Good Friday. I’m even too tired to go to church (just kidding.)

I was real slow getting moving, after a big night at Chickee Wah Wah.

Got me a Preston Patty Melt and Root Beer at Belle’s Diner. The Easter holiday weekend has brought a lot of visitors to town. The weather forecast for the three days is looking very good. Pretty much just hung out on the balcony and chilled the whole afternoon.

Easter Saturday

I am going to make up for yesterday’s lazy day with a full-on one today. Went down to Café Envie. I have now been informed after nine visits to New Orleans that I am pronouncing Envie incorrectly. Nothing new there for New Orleans. It should be OnVee, a French pronunciation.

I had a read of the newspaper while eating my Danish and drinking a Café Latte. It never ceases to amaze, that the same news can be reported with different outcomes. I am talking about the release of the Mueller report into Trump’s campaign win. The left shouts long and hard that he has not been exonerated while the right has a completely opposite view. We will have to wait until (if it happens) the report is released without being heavily redacted. I got talking to a couple of New Zealanders. Interesting, as one works in London and the other in Madrid. They must have had a big day, yesterday as they are both drinking a beer while eating breakfast. One of the guys made a common novice mistake. He order chips instead of fries and got a handful of potato chips with his omelet.

I also read one of the street press publications (Antigravity.) There is an extensive review on the 20th anniversary of the incredible Lucinda Williams album ‘Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.’ One of my favorite songs on the album is ‘Drunken Angel.’ A song written in dedication to Blaze Foley. Funny how things happen. Here I was two days ago watching Ben Dickey who played Blaze in a movie. I did not know (my ignorance) that ‘Drunken Angel’ was about Blaze. ‘Why’d you have to let go of your guitar?’ ‘Why’d you have to let it go that far?’ Blaze was tragically shot dead at the age of 38.

The Aussie neighbor I have told you about (Nerolie) has invited me to a Crawfish Boil over in Broodmoor. A fifteen minute drive. One of her work colleagues has invited her and extended the invitation to me. The house is on Sth. Prieur. Sue and Pat (the owners) welcomed me with open arms. The first boil is underway. Neighbors, friends and family are dropping in. Most houses in New Orleans do not have front fences which lends to a more welcoming scene. There is a long trestle table, covered with brown pap set up for the cooked mud-bugs. Seats are set up on the front lawn. I meet everyone that came to the boil. The first sitting was piled onto the table, together with the mud-bugs were whole red potatoes, corn cobs and whole garlic cloves.

I was again shown how to suck the head and slide out the tail meat with my teeth. The locals can eat ten to my one. The food was magnificent, very spicy. There was another two boils of food to eat. The second sitting included Brussel Sprouts. Best ever way I have eaten sprouts.

So privileged to have been invited.

I was back at my crib by 4:30 to rest and prepare for a 7 o’clock pick-up. Pat and Gentilly Jnr are coming to get me to go over to Big Dave’s Artisan bar and restaurant on St. Claude. Big Dave has become a good friend of Wendy and mine. I sat out on the stoop to await my good friends arrival. There are many people (somewhat inebriated) walking in both directions of Bourbon. A group of young African Americans waved at us and to my surprise one of the plump girls lifted up her top to flash her bra-less titty. A couple of pirates in full regalia sauntered past. Many of the strollers are drinking those damn awful, sickly handgrenades. Then a young guy with a well groomed beard and proudly standing breasts, t-shirt pulled up to reveal his/her ripped stomach. The inscription on the shirt ‘It’s None Of Your Business.’ Indeed it isn’t.

We got to the bar just after seven. Kevin the barman said g’day. Big Dave came in a short time later. He had a booth selling food and boozed at the inaugural 420 Festival over on Washington Square. I would have gone to that Festival if not for the invite to the Crawfish Boil. Now what you say is a 420 Festival. It is a marijuana festival (without the actual weed), music, food and speeches about the benefits of medical marijuana. Check it out here https://www.nola.com/business/2019/04/the-nola-cannabis-festival-turnout-was-low-and-a-little-high.html

You may also ask why 420?

In 1971, five high school students – Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich – in San Rafael, California, calling themselves the Waldos because “their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school”, used the term in connection with a 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about, based on a treasure map made by the grower. The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 pm. as their meeting time. The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase “4:20 Louis”. After several failed attempts to find the crop, the group eventually shortened their phrase to simply “4:20”, which ultimately evolved into a code-word that the teens used to mean consuming cannabis.

Mike Edison says that Steven Hager of High Times was responsible for taking the story about the Waldos to “mind-boggling, cult-like extremes” and “suppressing” all other stories about the origin of the term. Hager wrote “Stoner Smart or Stoner Stupid?”, in which he attributed the early spread of the phrase to Grateful Dead followers – after Reddix became a roadie for the Dead’s bassist, Phil Lesh – and called for 4:20 pm. to be the socially accepted hour of the day to consume cannabis.Urban Dictionary

It was great catching up with Big Dave. A cool looking black dude came in and set-up his music player and started accompanying the recorded music with his brilliant trumpet playing. It took me a few minutes before I remembered where I had seen him before. He was a member of Cyril Neville’s band at the FQF. He played for half an hour or so.

Later in the night the smoke-alarm went off for a brief period in the kitchen, Dave said, ‘I hope the Fire Brigade don’t respond, it can be costly.’ As the words left his lips, we could hear a fire-siren and the truck pulled up out front. Bummer.

After many Blue Moon beers we called it a night. The next morning I saw in my journal that Pat had written the following: ‘Not my fault, I promised to get you home early – 12:52am.’ Oh well, what does early mean in New Orleans anyway?

PRIEUR: Denis Prieur became mayor of New Orleans in 1828 and served the city for ten years, elected nearly unanimously each term. During his mayoralty, he approved the taxing of gambling houses, prohibited the exhibition of slaves for sale in the more frequented parts of the city and battled deadly cholera outbreaks. But Prieur is better known for what occurred after he left office.

On March 28, 1843, Prieur fought a duel with Louisiana senator George A. Waggaman. The former senator and former mayor fought over a “family affair of long standing” that could not be “settled” any other way.324 Prieur shot Waggaman through “the front part of the legs of his pantaloons, between the knee and the ankle,” forcing Waggaman to have his leg amputated. One northern newspaper commented, “It is not the least of the ridiculous notions that make humanity to be laughed at, the wounds of the honor are only to be healed by wounds in the body.”325 Unfortunately, Waggaman died from his wounds a few days later. Prieur died in 1857, and less than twenty years later, the city named a street after the dueling mayor.

Asher, Sally. Hope & New Orleans: A History of Crescent City Street Names (Landmarks) . The History Press. Kindle Edition.