NOLA, Saturday, August 30, 2014: It’s just a couple of days past the nine-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and we are in New Orleans. The Big Easy. Nawlins. NOLA.
Originally, I was to be on some small panel for Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans Benefit , which I have attended before. It was a marvelous time, with costumes, karaoke singing, scavenger hunts and many writing-related conferences and speakers. Such luminaries as Jonathan Maberry and David Morrell (as well as Heather) were in attendance. It was near Christmas. The decorations in the French Quarter were spendiforous.
P1030919This year would be different. Since it was not going to be near Christmas, the spouse would accompany me. We would experience Hotel Monteleone together. It would be fun, and we would be typical tourists over the long Labor Day weekend.
Well, it is fun, and it is the long Labor Day Weekend, but the Writers for New Orleans was moved to December 19-21st and my books are now at Bent Pages Bookstore in Houma, Louisiana, which , I learned, is at least an hour out of town.
We have been assiduously applying ourselves to doing “tourist-y” things in the French Quarter, along with a hearty band of about 8 folks who did not cancel out, but journeyed on down. The offenders include 3 from Las Vegas, two from Florida, and some nearby locals.


Yesterday, during a lovely lunch of barbecued shrimp at Mr. B’s, right across the street, we sat next to a plastic surgeon from Shreveport (who owns a place here) and his buddy, who had come down for the Saints pre-season game. He said he had been in practice for 44 years, after internships in Chicago and at the Mayo Clinic. His buddy’s wife has been his anaesthetist for 35 years. P1030980
Of Chinese extraction, he shared the information that, back when he attempted to vote in the early 1950’s, there was no space to fill in “yellow” as a race designation. He was given a choice between “white” or “Negroid” and, he was told, “Only the whites vote, and they vote in the Democratic primary.” The Republicans had no primary, as, said his friend, the blame for the Civil War lay heavily on the part represented by an elephant.
So, this highly-educated physician, the first of his family to be born in this country, voted as a white Democrat. It was his only choice. His remarks were of interest to me, since I find politics a fascinating spectator sport during presidential runs.
The good doctor lost his wife four years ago and was highly complimentary of the beauty of the city of Chicago. As he owns at least two houses, now, he sounded me out about my digs in Chicago, and I gave him the name of my building there. Wonder if he’ll inquire further?

Today (Sunday, 8/31) the Decadence Parade came through the French Quarter. My favorites were the Richard Simmons Rampage.