Sunday, April 20, 2008
A New Orleans Interior
Because the New Orleans Heritage and Jazz Festival is scheduled to start Friday, April 25, I thought I'd post some photos I took in 1996 inside the
Josephine Guest House in the city's Garden District. I was fascinated by the decor and the gorgeous and exotic folk art.
I went down to Louisiana to attend Jazz Fest with my friend Susannah Pugh. She and I were reporters at the Springfield Union-News. As the driver left us off at The Josephine, he warned us that it didn't matter what part of town we were in -- they'd shoot us anywhere.
I feel as though I was spared not just bullets but a hurricane. Katrina could have happened in '96. What's nine years in the grand scheme?
I'd been listening to southern acoustic blues from the 1920s and '30s for years, but I hadn't been down south for 20 years. The culture was a shock because it was so rich and colorful and joyful. Of course this wasn't Mississippi, where most of the blues I'd been listening to began. My impression of Mississippi is that, in general, it's not as much fun as New Orleans. (Try reading `` `Worse than Slavery,' '' and you'll catch my drift. A lot of great music from a hell.)
I wish I could say who the painters are. If any of you recognize one of these painters, please let me know. If you can tell me something about the decor, please.
Before I would consider going to New Orleans again, I'd have to be assured that Katrina had not washed away the essence of the architecture and the music, leaving only germinating ground for crime, not culture. I'm sure that's not the case, but I'm still afraid that his time around my number would come up.
In 1997 I pressed my luck and went to New Orleans without incident.
The Josephine took some damage but re-opened two months after