the ghosts of mississippi slide into new orleans

26 Nov

yea well. go’head. i tol you about the man with the serval in the cage, walkin down girod street. and the time i shared a cigarette on a stoop on Dauphine St. with a transvestite who practiced voodoo. Or the few hours i spent at Igor’s, drinkin whisky and seven and talkin with a pirate. i tol you all that so you must be pretty damn bored listening to me goin on and on about the crescent city. ok so, before i go and kiss my dear mother and sit down to her nice thanksgiving meal i got one more. we was at Preservation Hall, me and the Cincinnati Kid and Lancey “The Man” Howard. the three of us, we was there watchin the band. now this is when Allan Jaffe was alive. when he was organizing tours for the musicians. i ever tell you about the time me and Jaffe was caught pissing in an alley behind the police station smoking a bit of cheeba? maybe some other day. anywaySS the Cincinnati Kid and The Man had double-teamed a high-stakes joint on Ursuline, you know good guy bad guy winner loser stuff, anywaySS…so here we’re knocking back fingers of Turkey watching the boys on stage work, and man can they work, but anywaSS. the door opens from the back and who is it but Bobby DeLaughter comin in with a long cigarette in hand and a hurricane in a plastic to go cup. ain’t no fuss done made about who he was. this was Preservation Hall and lots of famous people can be seen walkin in the middle of shows but anywaySS, no one knew who in hell Bobby DeLaughter was. no one knew he was the man who put Byron de la Beckwith in for life, for killin Medgar Evers back in sixty-three. they made a movie about it. he was famous, DeLaughter was, but hell, no one turns they heads when the Preservation Hall Band plays so. so. The Man sent over a drink to the judge’s table after i nudged him. oh yea, DeLaughter’s a judge now case you ain’t heard. writer too. author, i believe is what they call ’em. if i still got you here listenin i’m sorry this ain’t much. usually ain’t much that happens in real life. ain’t the movies with the snappy dialogue and the bang bang shoot ’em up. it’s like the man who say life ain’t no tragedy. it’s just a goddamn bore. ain’t so much a war as just waitin around in a long line. it ain’t painful, it’s just lackin in sense is all. point is we looked around for the ghosts of Mississippi that might’ve snuck in with DeLaughter but there wasn’t none. just the man alone listenin to some good jass. oh yea, that’s how they use to spell it sometime. back in the twennies. they got a big kick outta it. JASS. take off the J and you got? ask buddy bolden, i’m not kiddin. after a few numbers the judge got up and left and me and the rest of the boys got another round while the band got to break for fifteen. i had to tell them who Medgar Evers was. they was from before him, the two of em. they was from the Depression. and The Man was even from before that. anywaySS…they both was some helluva poker players. but yea, i had to tell them about Medgar Evers and the NAACP and them Jim Crow Must Go t-shirts he was carryin before he was killed. they was good about listenin too. usually ghosts make a goddamn ruckus and stir things up, throwing furniture out the windas and all that. makin a big to-do. but these boys were good and listened. and anywaySS, here come the band back from break. if you’re still with me then i appreciate the company. i got lots more about n’awleans but maybe you don’t wanna hear no more. and anywaySS, here come the band.

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2 Responses to “the ghosts of mississippi slide into new orleans”

  1. Geoff 26/11/2008 at 12:17 PM #

    I was talking to Dr. Sax, my favorite busker, now pushing past 70 years old but still playing for the crowds and hawking his CDs down by the river, just across from Jackson Square, where you can sit on the steps and watch the barges swim by, and we were remembering Seth Morgan, and how it was such a big thing (this back in the late ’80s, or was it early ’90s?) that Seth finally finished his book Homeboy after getting out of prison and was hitting the big time — before he hit the bridge that killed him. Maybe Seth was trying to take out the bridge that night. That would be like him.

    Afterwards, the guys at the halfway house on Magazine Street took his book off the shelves. They said, there’s no room for going back here. You break the rules, you use again, and you’re out of here.

    We’re thinking about Seth today.

  2. Slyboots 27/11/2008 at 12:58 PM #

    I love ghost stories. And have The Shining cued up on my Netflix queue. (online, XBox stylee, if you please). Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

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