Postponed


The marching band arrived late.

This Mardi Gras parade season seems doomed.

Last night we had tropical storm level winds, the gusts were around 40 mph. So the parades were postponed. Two will roll tonight minus all the walking groups. The third will roll on Sunday. That means 164 floats will be on the streets tonight. At least one of the most powerful krewes in the city — The Muses — will roll during daylight, when their floats are meant for night time. At least they get to roll.

The last twenty or so floats of Nyx may never get to roll. Even if they did, they may not have many “throws” because they could mostly only take what they could carry after the tragic end to their parade The Nyx captain is is exploring joining the Krewe of Pandora, which rolls in Metairie on Sunday. The captain of the Krewe of Nix – Julie Lea — is also the captain of Pandora. They’ll know sometime today. There are two issues. Very few throws. And, they rent their floats. There may not be enough floats for them.

Meanwhile, we’ve learned a lot about the unfortunate woman who died on Wednesday night. She was 58-year-old Geraldine Carmouche. She did not trip or fall. She was trying to pick up some beads.

She gave her life for maybe ten cents worth of Chinese manufactured beads.

She was born and raised here. Toddlers are taught from the moment they come to parades not to run out into the street for beads. Do no cross in front of moving floats or marching bands. When I arrived 20 years ago that’s the first thing I was told when I attended my first parade.

Reading comments on Facebook was sickening. Many attacked the victim. They accused her of being drunk, of having no responsibility. Apparently, they never heard the old saying, “Never speak ill of the dead.” I guess this the the world in which we live.

I’m not buying that. I think she had a kind of tunnel vision. I’ve seen it a lot on parade routes. Parade goers see nothing but throws. They are aggressive and they want them all. Even though she was well old enough to know better, and a local, I think that’s what happened to Ms. Carmouche.

Four more issues to discuss. I promise that I’ll keep it short.

The picture is a leftover. With no parades last night, I ran out of culled and processed images. I also decided that the images I made while the Krewe of Nix was rolling will forever be unprocessed and will not see the light of day.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve changed my policy of not publishing names. While Storyteller remains art driven, I can’t tell stories without names. Of course I’ll follow my own ethical rules which are informed by years of journalism at a time when we were respected.

I’ve long said that the work is the prayer. If I believe that, I must work tonight. There are enough people who could use a few prayers right about now. And, that’s just in New Orleans.

Mardi Gras parades are an interesting thing. Just about ever local who participates in them does it for the experience, for the fun.

Really?

I talked to enough people on Twitter to realize that they were overjoyed at not having to be anywhere near the parades last night. One woman on NOLATwitter said that she felt free.

If that’s the case, just what the hell are we doing?

Do we feel so obligated to “celebrate” that it’s become work?

Even me. I was preparing to go to the parade route when I checked social media one more time. Even though I’m not riding on floats, or marching in bands, or throwing beads, I can’t tell you how relieved I was that I didn’t have to go.

What am I thinking?

 

7 Comments

  1. it is such and interesting sub-culture/series of events in itself. I really know nothing about any of it other than what I’ve seen on tv or in print. I still feel really bad for that woman and her loved ones, it is upsetting when people feel a need to judge. you raise an interesting question about the relief that came from not feeling obligated to attend –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of what is shown is the craziness and partying. What those of us who live here know is that it is a combination of a family and a religious. Carnival starts on the Twelfth Night when the Magi brought gifts to the baby Jesus. Mardi Gras conclude at midnight, when Ash Wednesday begins the lenten season.

      I’m pretty sure both Facebook and Twitter are two of the worst places on earth. I rarely read comments because of the negativity. And, now you can say something like “the sky is blue” and somebody will either reply MAGA or Trump sucks. Gimme a break. Not everything is politics.

      The Krewe of Muses, a highly respected women’s krewe rolled last night to make up for being postponed on Thursday. All of the walking stuff — bands, krewes, dancing groups, were deleted. Instead of the normal five hour time, they completed their route in two hours. We know a lot of Muses. We talked to them. The were so happy that their portion of the parade was so quick.

      I really do think that we lock ourselves into this and think we have to do it. I’m of the age that if it doesn’t make me smile, I think why keep doing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the many reasons I like your blog is that I get the backstories about NOLA. Makes sense from a blog called Storyteller, I guess. Seeing these things through your lens helps me to understand, and sometimes, like with this tragic death, to make a little sense of things. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are reading my reply to Beth. There are traditions that go back to before the Civil War around here. However, traditions are guilt trips laid on us by dead people. 🙂

      I will say that when I first got here about 20 years ago, I used to talk to some of my very elderly neighbors. They were around 90 years old and very interesting. They were born in the tens. Like 1910. Their parents were born around 1880. Their grandparents, who they knew in childhood, were born in maybe 1830. They lived through slavehood, the Civil War, reconstruction and Jim Crow. The elderly folks that I talked to could tell me about the real deal.

      Like

  3. 58 years old! So sad to hear that people attacked her on social media platforms, but I suppose I’m no longer surprised by those behaviors. I think you’re right about the tunnel vision. I have had moments when I’ve absentmindedly taken a chance and fortunately avoided a terrible outcome, but recall asking myself later, “what were you thinking?” It just really is heartbreaking.

    Like

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