This is New Orleans. We celebrate just about everything that moves. In late July and early August we hold a jazz festival called Stachmo Fest. We celebrate Louis Armstrong’s birthday with three days of music. All jazz. All kinds of jazz. We start with a French Quarter-based second line. On Sunday — yesterday — we have a neighborhood second line that starts in Treme and ends up near the festival music venues in the Quarter.
It’s a short parade. About a mile and half. That’s a good thing. That means for me it was about a three-mile walk. In the very hot sun. I think it was about 168 degrees. Okay. That’s an exaggeration. But, it was 97 degrees. At least that’s what my car thermometer said. The car was parked in the shade. And, the humidity is fairly low for us. Around 40 to 50 per cent. Even though I thought I stayed hydrated, I really didn’t. I returned to the car in a pretty stupefied state. The good news is that once a returned home I recovered pretty quickly.
To make matters worse, I’m pretty sure that a lot of us are not in great parade shape. It’s been six weeks. It’s like playing a sport. You can train, you can walk, you can ride a bike. But, those things are not like being in the scrum that is a second line. Worse, this is the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and combined with a music festival, there were probably more people taking pictures than there were walking in the parade. As you know, I’m pretty used to it. But, there are unwritten rules of etiquette. Many of these one time visitors with cameras don’t know or understand them. Oh well.
You’ll see more picture in the next few days. I’ll even show you a picture of the photographers. You’ll see. Too many photographers. Not enough music. Heh.
One more thing. See the grand marshal in the top picture? See the trombone player in the bottom picture? They are father and son. How cool is that?