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Tootie’s New Suit April 12, 2010

Posted by The Typist in 504, Debrisville, Federal Flood, je me souviens, Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans, NOLA, postdiluvian, Remember, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Last night America saw a ghost and they don’t even know it.

It spoke a language they did not understand, took a stand, gave a command: Won’t bow. Don’t know how.

When that spectral yellow figure stepped out of the darkness with that downtown sparkle and spoke, the spindly cemetery trees all across this town moved in the windless night and the hairs on the back of a ten thousand necks stood up like the feathers in its headdress.

Won’t bow. Don’t know how.

The last night Tootie Montana spoke he died at the microphone, defending his culture to tone deaf politicians and against a hostile local police force, demanding respect for a century old tradition with roots in in the bead work Yoruba and a strange and never clearly explained solidarity with the American Indian, something I think similar to the identification of the Black Christian church with the Isrealites in bondage.

Won’t bow. Don’t know how.

That ghost wasn’t speaking to me, or to any of the people in the room with me on Toulouse Street. It wasn’t even speaking to New Orleans. It spoke to all of America, to the entire planet. It stood amidst a desolation the American continent has not seen in a hundred years, one only those who came home with nothing to nothing, and the few privileged tens of thousands who came to volunteer, can understand. That ghost said all you need to know about the people of New Orleans.

Won’t bow. Don’t know how.

If that phrase still seems cryptic to you, try this: watch a repeat of Pacific that leads into a repeat of Treme.

Won’t bow. Don’t know how.

Comments»

1. Marco - April 13, 2010

That’ll work.

Like

2. George Williams - April 13, 2010

Thanks Mr. Folse, that made my morning.

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3. K. David Cook - April 13, 2010

I’m beginning to understand…about the people.

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4. bayoucreole - April 13, 2010

I love that…

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5. Tootie’s New Suit « Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans | Skewed News - April 18, 2010

[…] Here is a new Post at Tootie’s New Suit « Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans. […]

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6. Its A Living Tradition « Back Of Town - April 25, 2011

[…] I asked a year ago when the Chief appeared out of the darkness I wonder how many people outside the city caught the […]

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7. It’s A Living Tradition « Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans - April 25, 2011

[…] I asked a year ago when the Chief appeared out of the darkness I wonder how many people outside the city caught the […]

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