He was a “minister” in the purest sense of the word. He and Donna served out the secrets of life: love, happiness, music, kind words, and physical sustenance… all from their tiny venue on Rampart Street. The music, especially, changed my life. Blessed be.
—Bill Bowman, New Orleans, Louisiana
Springtime for Quint
For me, spring is full of Proustian moments. Driving ‘tween oak trees, sunshine welcoming rolled-down windows and an outstretched arm, hearing “Hey Pocky Way” on ‘OZ, and suddenly, I’m there, heading to the Fair Grounds, to my secret parking spot, wrapping beers in newspaper, to sneak in cargo shorts, planning a Crawfish Monica lunch, to eat on the way to Acura via Congo Square. It is, it was, it will be good to be here for the spring.
Wishing everyone a happy festival season.
—Andrew Gibbs, New Orleans, Louisiana
The following letter is in response to Sam D’Arcangelo’s post “Jazz Fest Unveils 2017 Lineup.”
First, the photo shown is a reminder of the increasing crowds and associated discomfort. I will never forget the Elton John show when attendees were actually climbing over the fence to get out and paramedics had difficulty getting to patients. Second, since this festival was taken over … too many big name artists start tours here and it draws a significantly different crowd. Jazz Fest may be located in New Orleans but each year it has become more difficult to enjoy. Next they’ll want to take away the Folklife Village, cooking demos, and replace real food booths with burger stands. We are not only offended by this list of artists but their order of significance!
—Catherine Allin Tollstrup, Reno, Nevada
Same Old is New Again
The following letter is in response to Jan Ramsey’s blog post, “Acculturation is not a privilege, it’s a right; it’s the future,” about why people who love New Orleans get stuck in the velvet-lined rut that is New Orleans and don’t leave any room for changes.
A very well written discourse. I’ve traveled the world and Louisiana for 25 years. There’s no other city like New Orleans. My Mom loved New Orleans and I grew up on her native music—Pete, Armstrong, George Lewis, Prima. I’m from the Chesapeake Bay area, crabbing, tonging oysters.
Mom was an adventurous cook and I was the recipient of that gift. I know almost every part of the state. And New Orleans is even unique in her own way to other parts. Long before I moved here I read all the James Lee Burke novels. When I was here on business I already knew the streets and restaurants. I felt her constantly calling me here, my new home. I drank her water and she courses through my soul. Maybe I’m lucky that I was “adopted” almost immediately upon my arrival. I enjoy immense certain doorways open to me in this small city. Albeit, you’re correct in that I’m not on the family tree here. And I do see and feel a certain “Tu n’es pas ici” [“You’re not from here”]. But not very often. I can contribute considerably to any conversation with historical or traditional quips. No matter where I go now I see someone I already met. It’s a small town as they say. New Orleans is growing like a weed now. Even I don’t want her to change, ever. I’m truly “acculturatized.”
—Jimmy Bassford, Lynchburg, Virginia
My Music with Timothy Robertson in our April issue incorrectly stated his last name as Robinson. Although Tim thinks it’s hilarious and points out that the “Robinson” alias will fit very well into a Dirty Mouth skit, we regret the error.
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