The queen and her court roll by at the head of the Treme Sidewalk Steppers second line. This was a big deal since it is their 25th Anniversary.
Unfortunately, they start on Rampart Street across from the Quarter. A few years ago, they started putting up police barricades and hiring security guards. You know the ones. The ones who wear badges that say the word security. The kind you can buy online for ten dollars.
I dealt with it that year, didn’t go last year and decided to get as far away from that silliness as I could this year. I went into what was just about my old neighborhood. The same so-called company was still working the ropes. I just walked around them.
I actually don’t like to photograph the floats since I normally can’t get a good angle on them. I did this time. I sort of had to make a picture like this because the actual second line was chaotic. The brass band was scattered amongst the walkers. The walkers were all over the place. The guys with the ropes couldn’t control anything. Everybody walked around them.
I let the second line come to me. That was the best thing that I could have done. I stood on my little patch of ground and made pictures.
That’s the story of the picture.
I have another story. It deals with wondering what we why we are on the planet. A friend of mine sent me an email about that. I don’t know why people come to me. I’m no guru. I barely understand what I do, let alone what others do. I have to process his words before I reply to him. Then, I may talk about it here. In general terms. No sense in embarrassing anybody when they are reaching out. Or, ever, really.
Only a few flowers seem happy in these conditions.
Since one of the local weather people let it slip and admitted we had started our seemingly never-ending summer’s heat, all I can say as, “Oh goodie.”
Five months of intense heat. A lot of rain. And maybe, a hurricane or two. Yes. That season starts in eleven days. I’d better go buy some canned and potted meat. Some bottled water. Some batteries. And, some other stuff. But, I forget what that is.
Those are some of the meanings of the color purple. Today, for me, it’s a grouping of fresh, growing flowers that I’m sharing for Mother’s Day. It’s a picture that I made a few days ago. A picture that I didn’t think that I’d made. I wasn’t sure.
It’s the best that I can do. Especially since my own mother passed in July 1996. She was 80 years old. She was watching the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. She was sitting in her favorite chair. She had about a half pack of cigarettes. She’d run out of matches. That’s how she was found. I’m always sorry that I never had a chance to say goodbye. On the other hand, she died peacefully and quickly. The passing of time eventually soothed me. It took about five years.
But, a funny thing happened on the way to my own aging.
Even though it doesn’t really pain me, there are still days when — as Radar O’Reilly of M.A.S.H. fame said, “Sometimes a guy just needs his mom.” Times when you just want to talk something over with your mom. Luckily, there are a few people in my life that I can use as a kind of substitute. Talking to one of them helps. It’s still not the same.
Make no mistake. I’m not sad today. A little thoughtful, maybe. If I want, I can go photograph the Mother’s Day Second Line over on the boundary of the 9th Ward. If not, there is plenty to do around this place.
I think mostly, I’m just writing from the point of view of someone who has long ago had his mom pass and maybe, just maybe, grown a little wiser as the years roll on. Hopefully, anyway.
Happy Mother’s Day to y’all . To those of you who are mothers, and to those of you who are not. After all, we all have mothers.
Well. I’m sure they don’t think that they’re babies.
In so many ways, they aren’t. They understand the honor that has been bestowed on them. They understand they are the future. They understand the pomp. And, they understand the streets.
Oh yeah. They also understand being photographed. They light up when you point a camera at them. It’s really hard to take a more normal, maybe a little revealing picture of them. They could probably give some big name celebrity a run for their money on a red carpet walk.
Never forget. They are children. The future. Honor them that way.