Alvin Coco agin… at the second line for Leah Chase in Treme, in New Orleans.

A little clean up time.

Sometimes pictures don’t make the final cut. They are close enough. I thought I’d show you a few from two second lines that missed the first cut… a little bit. Single Ladies. And the jazz funeral for Chef Leah Chase. I thought I’d stack them up all in one big pile. Didn’t Doctor John say something like, in New Orleans nothin’ is separate from nothin’?

He’s pretty much right.

Next?

Maybe a Sunday second line. The Perfect Gentleman roll for Fathers Day. At 3pm. The very hottest part of the day. This was the parade that just about killed me a couple of years ago. The temperature was 114 degrees on the street. The parade was supposed to roll at 1pm. It was postponed for some reason. First, to 2pm. Then, 3pm.

I took refuge on a very deep stoop, with about a dozen other people. I tried to stay hydrated. When the parade was organizing itself, I was standing on that very hot street. I realized that my vision was getting blurry. I felt like things were moving around in waves.

Some kind of heat thing.

I bought more water, sat down in a little bit of shade. I rested for a while and gave up. I walked back to my car, turned the air conditioning on and drank more water. I went home.

That closed my second line season.

That won’t happen this year. It’s nowhere near as hot. In fact, for us, it’s downright pleasant. It’ll get a little hotter by Sunday. I won’t be bad. I, like all, the rest of us, know what to do.

Housekeeping.

I really do like this new format. Funny thing about it. I was struggling to add the details. Like buttons. Social media buttons. Translator. And, like that. I found out why I was having a hard time. It was already done. Apparently, the minute that I activated this template, everything started to migrate. It just took a little time.

If there is something that bothers you. Something that I could do better. Let me know. This is still a work in progress.

Oh. The title?

Something Bob Dylan said about his infamous “Rolling Thunder” tour. He said there weren’t enough masks. That caught my attention since New Orleans is all about masking. He added, that when a man wears a mask, he’ll tell truth. Without a mask, he likely won’t.

Now, that’s something.

 

Leah Chase was Catholic. That didn’t stop representatives of almost every religion coming out.

 

 

 

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Not sure on a hot day.

We do it for the stories we could tell.

That’s what Jimmy Buffett said. He’s right.

I’ve come out of retirement from the street. Saturday’s events convinced me that there could be no other way. I came out for the Single Ladies Second Line.

It was hot. So hot.

It didn’t look like anybody was having any fun. Not, the ladies. Not the band. Not the second liners.

It was brutal.

After talking to a friend of mine today, I realized that we come out for a whole host of reasons. It really is like church.  It’s great to see friends. And, we tell stories about what we did afterward.

Today, we walk again. We make pictures. After a week of mourning, we lay Chef Leah Chase to rest. At 2pm. The hottest part of the day. We are suppose to have some overcast. That might help. No matter. I’ll work as best I can.

The work is the prayer.

Hanging out at the scene.


Pretty, pretty.

The middle day.

The so-called hump day of the business week. That is if you work five days a week in something like a 9 to 5 job.

I don’t  know anybody like that. I was working into the late night after taking a mid-day break. A short one. Same kind of day, today. It doesn’t stop. Sure. There are times when I don’t work as much. You know. Ebb and flow. The calendar might set my schedule, but the clock doesn’t.

How about you? How do you work? When? For how long?

Anyway.

This picture is yours. It’s a simple picture. I turned it into a watercolor painting. Almost. It’s peaceful. Quiet. A positive image.

That was my intent.


A very tight image of a musician's hand
A very tight image of a musician’s hand
Treme Brass Band gets going at the start of the Stachmo second line parade.
Treme Brass Band gets going at the start of the Stachmo second line parade.
Indian masked and ready for the Satchmo second line parade.
Indian masked and ready for the Satchmo second line parade.
The dancing begins at The Stachmo second line parade.
The dancing begins at The Stachmo second line parade.
A little early practice for a musician getting ready to walk in the Satchmo second line parade.
A little early practice for a musician getting ready to walk in the Satchmo second line parade.

There is a funny thing about The Stachmo Fest and everything associated with it. The city, the planners and just about everybody says that Louis Armstrong’s birthday was August 4, 1901. That is except for Satchmo, himself. He used to say that he was born on July 4.  A researcher proved him to be wrong through baptismal records. I guess we’ll go with that. But…

Anyway, for those of you who don’t live in New Orleans or who aren’t a huge fan of jazz, we have an event called Satchmo SummerFest. It began in 2001 as a one day event and eventually grew to three days. Mostly, it’s held at The Old Mint in The French Quarter. I say mostly,  because like all things New Orleans, it gets spread out a little bit. That said, people come from far and near to hear the music. I did once. Now, I really don’t. As I’ve grown a bit older and older and older, I’ve developed the very strong desire not to be in large crowds. But, that doesn’t stop me from photographing the second line parade, itself.

For me, this parade was the second one in a matter of days. That’s really a lot since second line parades aren’t often planned and usually don’t come in clusters. I wrote for Lindy Boggs’ second line parade that I couldn’t get into the groove. I was too hot, too out of sorts, too out-of-place, the bed was too hard, too soft and the porridge wasn’t just right. Whine, whine, whine. But, for the Satchmo second line I was in the groove… almost from the time that I left the house. Man, was I in the groove.  There were pictures everywhere.  I always say, “don’t take the picture, let the picture take you.” Well, they all took me.

These pictures? Well, well, well… these days, we talk about the number of picture we exposed in terms of data. We talk about gigs and mega pixels and stuff like that. Everybody does it. I do it too. But, that’ll fool you. The bigger the photo file, the more space you chew up.  My cameras now make 24.7 gig files. That’s pretty big. Not the biggest. But, big enough. For me, digital files have finally gotten to the place where they are quality equivalent of Kodachrome. You know, the film that gives you “those nice bright colors…” So, I pretty much have stopped thinking in terms of digital data and have gone to converting the number of frames into rolls of film. Nobody that I know of does this, except me. But, it helps me to wrap my head around how many pictures I make on any given day. So, for the record. I exposed the equivalent of ten rolls of 36 exposure film in — get this. — 45 minutes. That’s just how many pictures took me.

The rest was easy. Hardly any post production except to brighten and sharpen things a bit.

Oh yeah. There are too many pictures to publish in one day. So, there will be a part two. Tomorrow.