An Open Apology

Feb 12, 2008 by

Yeah, ya heard it. I’m writing this for no other reason than to say I’m sorry. Please, allow me to explain….

…I know New Orleans has it’s myriad of problems, from an absentee Mayor and a small percentage of police who think they’re re-living Cool Hand Luke, with us as the Parchman Farmers, to the little things, like cell phones that don’t connect when the weather’s bad, or resetting the clocks after every little thunderstorm, and driving miles and miles, from grocery to grocery, trying to find some freakin parsley…

I recently read that 58% of Americans still don’t think New Orleans is worth rebuilding. What they don’t understand is that it’s too late for that now. It’s coming back anyway.

This afternoon, it rained while I was working outside. I rode my bike through a couple of blocks of drizzle, to Capt’n Sal’s on St. Claude Avenue, and spent about seven dollars on two pounds of freshly boiled crawfish.

That’s the price of lunch at Mickey D’s these days, by the way. Anyway, I peddled home, opened the sack, and put on the radio. Satchmo & John Boutte, taking turns on WWOZ. The strangers at Capt’n Sal’s had discussed the quality of the latest Crawfish, and they were right. Big this season, shells still soft to show their youth, and tastey as can be. The guys working across the street asked (axed?) where to get them and I gladly directed them. They turned their radio down to hear mine when Satchmo started to blow. It’s lunchtime in New Orleans. A sacred event, bringing together groups of different languages and walks of life, over food & jazz, the pleasure of a sultry rainy day and a break in the work of Fixing It All Again.

So yeah, it’s too late to think about rebuilding New Orleans. Sure there’s tons of work left to do, houses to build, schools to open, roads to fix, hospitals to be built.

But the foundation of this city is already poured…

The People. The Food. The Music. The Culture.

The rest is frosting, made of brick & mortar, wire & nails.

So I have to say I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that some people live in the snow and sleet.

I’m sorry that there’s towns where all the music is programmed by people you’ll never see, who have no idea who you are.

I’m sorry there aren’t half a dozen live music venues withing walking distance of your houses.And I’m sorry you missed the crawfish jazz lunch that occured impromtu today, in a neighborhood 58% of you wouldn’t rebuild. It was awesome.

As I head back to work, Sam Cooke crooning in the back ground, finger’s still burning from the spicey shells, I have one more regret. I’m sorry you won’t be here tonight when I boil down those empty shells and make bouillabaisse from whatever the local grocery has to offer in local fishes. It’s gonna be insane.

On the other hand, my dearest 58%, you could always grab some wine, and stop by. We’re rebuilding New Orleans one pot full of dinner at a time. And you’re invited. That’s just how it is here. If you don’t get it, then perhaps you’re the one who we should be sorry for.

Lord David
Pirate & Artist
Skull Club
New Orleans

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