New Orleans: A Show of Support

August 2011

According to the Dewey Color System test if you pick the color Blue as your favorite color among the choices Yellow, Blue and Red and the color Green among the choices of Green, Purple and Orange, you have a supportive personality, awesome listening skills and extreme trustworthiness. Blue-Green, that’s me.

My parents and I are in New Orleans to see my two cousins, six and seven years old, run track in the AAU Junior Olympics. On Friday, they ran the 4 x 100 relay race where they finished 25th in nation. My family has always been willing to travel for sports since the days of my youth. We traveled near and far for many of a AAU/BCI basketball tournament. I, of course, am enamored with sporting trips, which I am sure developed from the times spent during the summer in basketball gyms across the country.

I think it’s important to show support early on. It makes a difference when someone, besides your parents, believes in you. Parental support is very important, but it’s also nice when people outside your guardianship acknowledge your talents. Track parents, I applaud your ability to sit outside in the heat perspiring while cheering on your child(ren). Also, your kids will never fully understand the sacrifices that you made for them. To kids, time is abundant and money magically appears. It’s not until you’re older that you realize that Sunday quickly turns into work Monday and money magically disappears as soon as the bills arrive.

I’m making a story book for my little cousins using, a site that lets you turn pictures into cartoon-like illustrations, and, a very user-friendly book publisher.

Sometimes my eyes tear up when I see someone competing with all their heart. Sports accomplishment has an unique feeling unto itself.

New Orleans - I feel like I have built this city up in my head. I pictured wide streets made for strolling and people leisurely enjoying lemonade on balconies everywhere. The buildings look so weathered, and houses are still boarded up around neighborhoods. I don’t know if they were like this before or if they still haven’t recovered from Hurricane Katrina. When you drive by the Superdome, you can just picture the television reports in your mind. On the news, the Danzinger verdict takes precedence. The jury found several policemen guilty of shooting unarmed citizens during Katrina. Have you ever read stories about what is was like here? I read Dave Eggers’ book, and it’s amazing how having no one to hold you accountable can turn even the law into the darkest of people. 

The road infrastructure is quite maddening. You’ll have to make several U-turns here with almost all of them being on purpose. I feel like I’m missing something, which is possible. People love it here. They can’t all be seeing New Orleans through alcohol goggles. Maybe it’s not fair to judge a city on a few days, but that’s all we have. 

We took the Canal street trolley to the river front and walked around the French Quarter. My dad and I rummaged through vinyl records at the Louisiana Music Factory. They have all genres of music upstairs. I picked up two R&B records - “Touch” by Con Funk Shun (his pick) and “Super Charged” by Tavares (my pick do to it’s album cover). I’ll see how they sound at home. My dad picked up a John Lee Hooker t-shirt. The man who asked me “all are Ben Harper songs suppose to sound the same” is a fan of the blues - a category of music that consists of repeating the same thing over and over again. We saw a poster of Tina and Ike for sale. The Tina was, of course, Tina Turner; The Ike was, surprisingly, Dwight Eisenhower. I thought that was comical and almost purchased it until I read the lines “benefit concert for Nixon for President.” It lost me there.

My mom chatted with the store clerk while we were upstairs. He recommended  Deanie’s Restaurant as a place to eat. Then as we were walking in the door a patron suggested we try the Barbecue Shrimp which. Delicious.

I think we are ready to head back home. We saw family, the most important part and ventured out in the city all while going across the same toll bridge two times in a row, staying in a noisy hotel and being rear ended. I feel, New Orleans, we both didn’t get a good shake. Take care of yourself. 

Dallas, we are coming back begrudgingly to the 100 degree heat with open arms.

My Jazz Favorites
Is This Love - Corinne Bailey Rae
Something Beautiful - Trombone Shorty with Lenny Kravitz
To Love the Language - Harry Connick Jr.

The Lady is a Tramp - Ella Fitzgerald
Tu Vuo' Fa L'Americano - from The Talented Mr. Ripley
Comes Love - Billie Holiday

Mississippi Goddam - Nina Simone
100 Days, 100 Nights - Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
Back to Black - Amy Winehouse
Take Five - Dave Brubeck
Christmas is Coming - Vince Guaraldi Trio

Moanin' - Art Blakely

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