Thursday, December 04, 2008


Rocky and Johnny B at The Endymion Parade

Joe at The Endymion Parade

Endymion Parade Booty

Dennis and Huong

Dennis, Joe and Johnny B
At The Endymion Parade

Dan at The Endymion Parade

Dan Posing as Kevin Costner

Crystal During The Endymion Parade

Huey P. Long Bridge, New Orleans

Mary, Johnny B and Jim
French Quarter, New Orleans

Mary, Latrobe Park
French Quarter, New Orleans

Huong, Vietnamese New Year, New Orleans

Dan and Huong, Vietnamese New Year, New Orleans

Brandi, Ann and Kelly,Steamboat Natchez
In Background, New Orleans

Brandi at Cemetery, New Orleans

Johnny B, St. Louis Cemetery No.1, New Orleans

Brandi at New Orleans Cemetery

Actual Bones, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans

June 1, 2008. Just days before we left New Orleans, our friend, Mary Sullivan, from Colorado, and our friend, Ann Holloway, from Illinois, came down for a visit. Mary stayed in a very nice hotel in the CBD (Central Business District) and Ann (along with a few friends) stayed in her pop-up camper at Bayou Segnette State Park. The campground actually has a wave pool. We all got together one afternoon to check out the wave pool, but after standing in line for fifteen minutes, we decided it wasn’t worth it. A large crowd, screaming kids, an $8 per person entrance fee, and the fact that we couldn’t even bring in bottled water were all factors. So we decided to swim at the campground’s smaller pool which we had all to ourselves. I was even allowed to bring in “a few” cans of beer. We had a great time in our little water oasis.

We did the standard touristy things: live music at Latrobe Park, Bourbon Street Bars, and all the local cemeteries. Mary even had her fortune read at one of the voodoo shops. It was a great send-off before heading to New Mexico. During our 15 months in New Orleans, Rocky and I stayed at The Canal Street Guesthouse for a few weeks before renting a very nice place on Royal Street in the heart of The French Quarter. We then moved to a 3rd floor apartment on Madison Street, which had access to a rooftop perch with an excellent view of downtown and The Mississippi River. After that, Rocky moved in with a friend, Matthew aka Cross, in The Marigny (another historical district that is similar and adjacent to The French Quarter) and I moved in with my friend and co-worker, Jim Henry.

Even though we lived in two different areas, Rocky and I still got together for food and drinks several times a week. I worked the midnight to 8am shift so my free time was primarily 8am to 2pm (bedtime). I usually went straight to Harrah’s casino after work to play the penny slots and get free drinks. I’ve always been a pretty good tipper so the servers at the casino treated me like royalty while I slowly whittled away $5 bills on the machines and a dollar or two for every bottled beer. Sometimes, I even came out ahead. Based on my spending habits at the casino, I didn’t qualify for bottled beer (only draught) but the servers brought me bottles anyway- 2 at a time, in fact. I miss Harrah’s.

I also ran into one of my best friends from college, Joe Kerr (who also appears in the very first entry of this blog from 1995), that I had lost track of for 12 years. I've tried to locate Joe on several occasions over the years, and apparently, he has tried to locate me. Then, one day in New Orleans, out of the blue, there he was. He is living with another friend, Dennis, who we also knew from Chicago, after Joe had moved there. We also met Joe's friend, Dan Wood, an SIUC Professor and published author, in Chicago, who has since moved to New Orleans. Rocky and I made friends with another friend of Joe's, Huong. Another friend, Crystal, joined Joe, Dennis, Dan, Huong, Rocky and I at The Endymion Parade. We also got together for Thanksgiving, 2007.

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