Something To Do

I think I’m finally able to talk about New Orleans.

There was some imagery in the LSU/ALABAMA game tonight that brought back memories of my trip to NOLA, and I realized the memories were neutrally charged. So I think I can finally tell some stories that I was unable to tell until now. The emotions surrounding the trip are finally letting loose their stranglehold grip on me, and letting me back into my own mind.

They showed a picture on tv of a New Orleans Jazz band. It was kind of like this picture, but not really.

The colors were similar and there was a prominent trombone in the painting, is about where the similarities end. I saw a band while I was down there and it was pretty darn cool to be in the place where that music originated. But the picture on tv made a specific memory come flooding back to me that was not about the band I saw.

On Saturday while I was down there, I participated in a parade. I walked with the parade pretty much to the end of the route, but not quite. When my throw bag was empty and my feet were sore, I went back to my car which I had parked near the end of the parade route. On my way to my car, which was through an area called Bywater, in the 9th Ward, I heard jazz music coming from a house in the neighborhood. Free jazz, improvisational jamming.

It occurred to me that the residents of New Orleans had something built into their culture that many people in many cities did not.

On the trip down, I had spent a lot of time talking with two of my cast members who rode in my car, J and L. We spent most of the time talking about the differences in our races, and what it is like to grow up/be African American. One of the things J mentioned is that in many poor urban areas, people just don’t have anything else to do, so they get in trouble.

But in New Orleans, they have music. So on a Saturday afternoon, a bunch of people can get together at someone’s house and just jam, and create a whole lot of happy noise. They have Something To Do. As long as enough people know how to play an instrument, at least.

I can assume that some knowledge is passed through the generations through families, but I can’t imagine that the schools don’t have any music education at all. Music is so ingrained in their history. It is cool.

These are reasons we need to save art education in schools.

— January 8 —

I’ll briefly post a picture here so I don’t break the cycle.

Yesterday morning I was going to make a cup of coffee, so I filled a mug with water and went to put it in the microwave. That’s when I saw that I had already heated a mug of water up. The cup was still warm, even. And I had already forgotten.

Yesterday I gave my pup this cool new bandana. He doesn’t usually wear one unless he’s just been groomed, but I thought he needed a bit of perking up. He really needs a bath again, but I hate to dry his skin out with a bath in the winter.

That is all.

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