I’ve been off the air waves for a time and have some catching up to do. Jean and I have talked with many of you about the New Orleans Mardi Gras trip and we joke about the “what happens in New Orleans stays in New Orleans” stories. But, actually, nothing happened there that I wouldn’t tell my own mother. She gets these e-mails so I’m telling the truth. I sent a link to the Trilanders about some pictures I posted on picasa and that link is http://picasaweb.google.com/justjack1946 . Many of the Trilanders’ e-mail systems didn’t include it as a link so they weren’t able to see the pictures. If it doesn’t come through in a different color and underlined,Â and when you click on it nothing happens, you can always copy and paste the link in your web browser window or type it in the space where you would type any other webside address. If you still have trouble, ask your kids for help.
As I look back at the pictures, son Matt isn’t in many of them. It wasn’t that he stayed away from me but he was often sitting next to me, so the pictures didn’t include him. The pictures from Europe had lots of pictures of Matt so, I guess, the girls and Rocky and Robert deserved some equal time. There are a couple of pictures I didn’t get that I wish I had. One was of Matt, Jean and I in Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. It’s a bar down Bourbon Street away from the chaos.Â I visited and spent some time thereÂ on my last trip to New Orleans in 1964. It really hadn’t changed all that much and it was muchÂ as I remembered it.
The second was at the Endymion parade. We were standing along Canal Street in the center island where the streetcars go. The crowd was about thirty people deep and we were about eight people back from the front fence. To our right, a guy had brought a stepladder, and his “heavier than average” girlfriend was up on the third step. We couldn’t see past her and right next to her was a lamp post so we couldn’t see past that either. A guy about 6’1″ was right in front of us and a short, young Asian girl came along and got on his shoulders. She was wearing a fairly short skirt, so six inches in front of my face were her underpants staring right back at me. I put my camera down on front of me as if I was going to take a picture, but I didn’t have it turned on.
She was quite self conscious and kept trying to cover her rear end, but it wasn’t working very well. She was wearing a sweater so Rocky’s girlfriend Nina suggested that she take it off and tie it around her waist. We told Nina she should mind her own business which got a big laugh from all the dirty old men standing around us.
The third, and the one I regret not getting the most, was at some random bar where we had lunch.Â A couple ofÂ nights before we had all gone out on Bourbon Street and the booze was flowing freely. Jean left at around 10:30 ‘cuz Robert had just gotten in and was on his way to the hotel. Before she left, she was ragging on Rocky for having a couple of shots with the other kids (although I think I had a shot of Jaegermeister and a “Red Headed Slu#”, whatever that is, so it wasn’t just the kids). I left a couple of hours later but the kids stayed until quite late.Â Rocky had a bad case of the brown bottle flu the next day (Friday) and vowed to never drink again. So when we stopped at the random bar for lunch on Saturday, he came walking out of the bar area into the back courtyard with what he said was a shot of vodka.Â He drank it right down saying he wanted to put the fire out and get back to having some fun. I looked over at Jean and she had a look on her face (shock and anger)Â that only a Mother can have. I knew it was water but Jean didn’t. Her eyes could have burned holes in Rocky’s shirt and I missed the picture. Where’s Judy when you need her?
With all the stories and the pictures, what really impressed us is that it was the first time in about six years that we had all the family together. It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth every penny. The kids all had fun together and caught up on each other rather quickly. After the first night, Jean and I were back in the hotel by 10 or 10:30 and the kids stayed out later. We’re already thinking about where the next family trip should be. It was never easy to get all nine of us together to do anything, but we did have a “family dinner” the last night we were there. Anna was the only casualty ‘cuz she can’t stand the smell of seafood and we went to a seafood restaurant. But she hung in there like a trouper and I don’t think she’s permanently scarred.
We didn’t runÂ while we wereÂ in New Orleans but we walked about 10 miles a day, so I guess we got our exercise. I guess I missed a few things here in Hastings. You’ve heard me mention Diane before, and we know her as quite prim and proper. So I’m quite curious about the conversation down at the coffee house last Saturday that started out with one of the guys saying “So Diane, I know you like to go “au naturale”…” I’m quite shocked and want to hear more about the story.
Just (Having Visions Dancing AroundÂ In My Head) Jack