Not easy.


ometimes… you just never know. A terrible thing happened in Albuquerque, New Mexico yesterday morning. A balloon carrying five people hit a power line, started to dip, hit it again catching on fire and fell to earth killing all five people on board.

At the time that I wrote this, families had not been notified. The passengers and pilot were ages 40 to 60. The balloon crashed at the corner of Central (Route 66) and Unser (Those Unsers of automotive racing fame).

This saddens me because after all the sickness, pain and uncertainty of the past 18 months, I’m willing bet that these people were out just having fun.

Remember fun?

May they all rest in peace.

July 4, 2008 – June 2, 2021

Sophie Rose was fighting a gastrointestinal infection. She seemed to be getting better until she wasn’t. She passed sometime last night. My heart is truly broken. Have a good thought for her and for me and for my family.

I’m going to take some time to mourn her. I’ll be back whenever I am back.

Thank you for understanding.

See the sky about to rain, broken clouds and rain.

Locomotive, pull the train, whistle blowing through my brain. Signals curling on an open plain, rolling down the track again.

See the sky about to rain. Some are bound for happiness, some are bound to glory. Some are bound to live with less, who can tell your story?

See the sky about to rain, broken clouds and rain. Locomotive, pull the train, whistle blowin through my brain. Signals curlin’ on an open plain, rollin’ down the track again.

See the sky about to rain.I was down in Dixie Land, played a silver fiddle. Played it loud and then the man broke it down the middle.

See the sky about to rain. — Neil Young — 1974

Rest in Peace — Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Something peaceful.

The picture. I made the image yesterday. The day was overcast with really flat light. The kind that I don’t like. I wanted to find a picture. I wanted one to find me. And, so it did.

I had something different planned for today. But, the news came out of the blue. The thing so many of us dreaded. Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed.

I knew I had this picture. It’s a little special. I helped it along its path.

It’s peaceful. It’s quiet. I can’t speak for y’all but I need it just about now. 2020 has been a horrible year. It continues to get worse.

My quiet time is center myself. I have one more fight left in me. I have to get ready. It’s the battle for the soul of my country. Voting is one thing. We have to make sure that we get out the vote. In every state. You know what they say. “Faith without work is dead.” Let’s not die.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Enjoy all the pierogi.

Rest in Heaven.


That’s what I’ve been doing.

I had a long post planned for today that I’d written and ready to go. I had to change it. The city’s culture bearers are in mourning tonight, as am I.

Black Masking Indians

You might know them as Mardi Gras Indians, but they prefer the name Black Masking Indians. Even though they are part of the Mardi Gras Culture they stand alone as Black men and women who mask to honor American Indians.

There’s not a lot of events at which you can see them. Mardi Gras, St. Joseph Night, three Super Sundays, Jazzfest and a few special events where they may be performing. If you’ve never seen them, you should. They are as important to this city as any one single group.

The news broke.

Big Queen Kim Boutte passed. At first that’s all we knew. The news started flowing around the streets. Finally published the story. Two nights ago there was a shooting in New Orleans East. A man and woman had been shot as they were leaving a funeral repast, a wake for those of you who don’t the word repast.

At the time, I thought that it was just one of many shootings in the East. I was wrong. I knew the woman died.

She was Big Queen Kim.

Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.

I’ve met a lot of people on the street. Most are good people. Kim Boutte was the kindest person I’d ever met out there. There was one time at a parade – i can’t remember which one — that I made a couple of pictures of her suiting up.

When I reached her she asked for a favor. Could I bend over so she could use my back for a support while she pulled on her moccasins? Of course. She did that, gave me a kiss on my cheek and we went our own ways. Big Queen was her title. She was tiny.

That’s how it is.

We would see each other from time to time like we all do. We were always happy to see each other.

Now she’s gone.

She was killed by our violent street culture that seems never to improve.

The Picture

I made this picture at the festival for Louis Armstrong’s birthday. Most of it take place at the jazz museum near the Quarter, but this event take place after the jazz mass at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in Treme. The heart of jazz. Just about every group represents. You’ll see first liners, brass bands, Zulus, Indians, Baby Dolls and folks you haven’t seen in a year.

There she was, playing a cowbell. You know, “It needs more cowbell.” I made a few pictures. I circled around and we almost collided. We said hi, and I made more pictures while she danced.

That was it.

Rest in peace, power and in heaven, Big Queen Kim. You’ll be missed.

Stay safe, Have a good thought for our friend.

Jazz Funeral for John Prine.

I am an old woman
Named after my mother
My old man is another
Child that’s grown old

If dreams were thunder
And lightning was desire
This old house woulda burnt down
A long time ago

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold on to
To believe in this livin’
Is just a hard way to go

When I was a young girl
Well I had me a cowboy
He weren’t much to look at
Just a free ramblin’ man
But that was a long time
And no matter how I tried
Those years just flow by
Like a broken down dam

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold on to
To believe in this livin’
Is just a hard way to go

There’s flies in the kitchen
I can hear them there buzzin’
And I ain’t done nothin’ since I woke up today
But how the hell can a person
Go to work in the mornin’
And come home in the evenin’
And have nothin’ to say

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold on to
To believe in this livin’
Is just a hard way to go

RIP — John Prine 1946-2020

Well. The title’s a nick name for New Orleans. It seems to fit the city’s old cemeteries. They are cities. Of the dead. This one is across the street from Commander’s, a restaurant that is known the world over. It is Lafayette Cemetery Number 1. It was established in 1833. Assuming you can actually find space, it is open to anyone. There is even a Confederate general buried there. It is a reasonably safe cemetery to visit unlike some of the city’s other burial grounds.

The picture. That’s another bit of luck. I made it on the same early evening as I made the picture of Magazine Street that I posted yesterday. Some evening, eh? I’m lucky if I make a picture like that every couple of months, let along two in one night. Photographer’s luck. On another night, I might have made a left, instead of a right turn. This picture might not exist. 

With the passing of Levon Helm, I’m having trouble sorting out what I want to post today. A lot of memories came flooding back. Some good. Some not so good. Some of my younger followers might not even know who he was. That’s okay. He played drums in a seminal band called, “The Band.”I guess what sticks with me today as is something he said.  “If it doesn’t come from your heart music just doesn’t work.” I suppose that applies to just about everything.

Safe journey.