Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Back home for the weekend

We made it back home this past weekend. It was a short but efficient visit—I presented a paper at the Society for Anthropology in North America meetings and Susan had a chance to visit with her children (who she hasn’t seen since December). I’m not sure how I classify this latest visit, other than I am somewhat reserved to the fact that I am now just a visitor to the city I love so much.

During Bob French’s show atWWOZ, I got the chance to meet Bransford Marsalis. We talked about jazz and also about the Musician’s Village
(I’m beginning research on that project) and I enjoyed his “normal” demeanor. He told me Jason (his younger brother) is back in town now, though I’m not sure he’s living in his house on Napoleon Ave. yet. I kept wondering where in Central Texas, other than at KUT-FM Austin would I ever have a chance to meet the artists I have over the years in New Orleans. As I settle into this area, I will try to land a show there.

Our trips back home seem to follow a certain pattern. Most of it centers around seeing the kids and seeing old friends. I enjoy this very much. I also enjoy becoming spiritually grounded again walking the streets of New Orleans. I enjoy seeing friends spontaneously on the streets, and being asked whether I’m back or not (though they all know that we’re not coming home for a long time). We buy things here that we cannot get in Central Texas, much of it art from Brad and Ginger on Decatur St., or books from Beckham’s, or music from the Louisiana Music Factory. And we enjoy the long walks through the Quarter—and the music on Frenchman Street.

We stayed again with our friends David and Jenn in Gentilly. There is a special place for them in Heaven—they host so many people during the year in their house. We had an incredible backyard barbeque on Saturday, and we invited our friend Lynn Drury to meet them and play some music. I love her work—though it probably “works” better in a place like Nashville or Austin.

I also visited the Musician’s Village—and was impressed with the progress taking place there. It is beginning to have a minor spill-over effect on the neighborhood, though time will tell how this helps the overall community return. We also visited our house in Broadmoor, and we were very sad to see the level of decay it has fallen into. It will probably be a “tear-down” now.

Such is life.

And now we are “home” in Central Texas, and they’ve completed our new house, and we begin moving in around mid-May, and we will “officially” start our life anew here.

And we will have Movie Nights on the last Friday of the month.

And we will have Salons on the second Saturday of the month.

And we will walk through the neighborhood with our to-go cups filled with our beverages of choice.

And Devin will hear Brass Band, Funk, and Jazz music playing on the CD Player all day and night long.

And he will know that he still lives on the corner of Walmsley and Rendon (don’t ask me how—I might have to go to jail for that)….

And the smells of shrimp ettouffe, barbeque shrimp, oyster bisque, red beans and rice will permeate the kitchen, and then hopefully drift out of the house into the neighborhood.

And Susan and I will, when we can go outside and “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching.”

We had the contractors place a bag of New Orleans gris-gris in our foundation near the front door. So if you get the chance to come up and visit us, please be sure that you won’t be far from New Orleans when you enter our house.

New Orleans will never be far from where I live—it will always be in my heart.

It was nice to be back home this last weekend….

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