On a lazy summer afternoon July 4, 2010Posted by Mark Folse in 504, New Orleans, NOLA.
Tags: Fourth of July
Perhaps I need to pry my eyes away from the oil-fouled coast and go instead to watch the gunpowder flowers boom and crackle over the river. It’s supposed to be a damn holiday and I need to get away from sitting next to the unfiled mail and unpaid bills, all the litter of responsibility crying out for attention, that manuscript waiting behind this screen and the Counting House’s laptop satchel bomb sitting under the desk ticking away with things that must be done on Monday.
I was looking forward this year to avoiding the sort of Memorial Day and Fourth of July posts I’ve made in the years since 8-29, but the Oilpocalypse is making that a bit difficult. The boy has gone camping in Georgia, walking up his first mountain after fifteen years in the flats of Dakota and New Orleans, fifteen hundred feet in the last mile. (I know your phone is off so remember: watch your step while walking; stop to look at the views). So that means no sidewalk fireworks show this year. There’s no music on the river this year, just the Essence crowds (welcome to New Orleans; love ya; spend lots of money) which removes one reason to fight the crowds downtown. It’s kind of hard to decide what to do but sitting at this computer fuming like the Gulf surf is probably not it.
Perhaps I’ll do nothing. It’s a holiday, a word rooted in holy day and the first official holy day was the biblical Sabbath, so a day of rest might be just the thing. And I know come dark if I walk a block over to the old L&N spur tracks that followed the path of the Carondelet canal toward downtown, I can see the high bursts of one of the barges, driving away the mosquitoes with a Gloria de Cubana Serie No. 5 and the blues with a big cup of something good out of the liquor cabinet. I know we won’t be alone if we go over there. Enough of the neighbors know about the view and while over on the weedy tracks we may not have a gazebo pouring out Souza sitting with your neighbors was, once upon a time, how people spent the Fourth.
My only other problem is there isn’t a single decent video, not even a passable cover, of Randy Newman’s Dayton Ohio, 1903 on the Internets, which once again leads me to question how much of an improvement over the Baudot teletype this whole Internet thing really is. You’ll just have to pull out your own copy. What? You don’t have a copy of Newman’s Sail Away? Well, maybe you should bring some beer and chicken over and we can listen to mine along with Good Old Boys. And when the sky gets mosquito dark and it’s time for cigars we can head over to the tracks