Tuesday, May 28, 2013

                        I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND

     That was me standing on a folding chair, screaming my lungs out, tears rolling down my cheeks...
it was 1963 and I was 13 years old, old enough to go to my very first concert by myself and it was
the BEATLES!  I guess my mom was cooler than I thought back then because she not only allowed
me to go but bought me the ticket as well!   "Meet The Beatles" was also the first record album that I bought.  I was out of my mind with joy at that concert that day back in Detroit and I have remained the most loyal of Beatle fans over the years. I have followed and loved their music separately, too, and since then I have seen Paul McCartney in many of his different reinventions and have travelled to other cities to go to his concerts. This weekend's concert in Memphis was probably the best of all, though, not only because I could actually hear the music this time (no screaming) but because Paul's talent has only improved with age.  He is a perfectionist and his over- 70 age status has not diminished his talent any little bit.  There are not many performers of that age who could be on stage at his energy level for almost 3 hours and you can really see how much he enjoys performing,  bringing happiness to his
audience.  It was sublime.  If you had told my 13-year-old self that I would someday, in the far

future,  get to see Paul McCartney on stage singing Beatle songs, I certainly would have laughed. (Mainly because I didn't believe that either of us could possibly get this old)!

Monday, May 20, 2013


We certainly have no shortage of free music festivals here in New Orleans and this weekend was no
exception.  It was time again for the annual Bayou Boogaloo Festival which takes place on the Bayou St. John.  It was hot out there, too, but everyone was having a nice, relaxed time at an event that the
tourists have not really discovered....YET.   There were several stages for musical acts, food booths, an art market and other events. The last day pretty much came to a close with the rubber ducky race
on the bayou.....hence the big rubber ducky!


This past weekend I had the wonderful experience of hearing His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama
speak at the UNO Arena.  His monks first appeared to chant and prepare the room for His arrival.
He wore a baseball hat, has a great, hearty laugh, an ironic sense of humor and a way of cutting
right to the point in a no nonsense kind of way.  The take-away for me was:  We are all the same.
We all have the capacity to love and have compassion for other living things.  Prayers alone have
not stopped violence.  We must look to ourselves to bring peace on this planet.  Not a bad day of
My seat was not very good so my photos are not either but I am going to include a great photo
that was taken by someone else at the Tulane University graduation where the Dalai Lama appeared
and spoke on Saturday morning.  He is shown with two of my other idols....New Orleans music legends, Allen Toussaint and Dr. John.  Coincidentally, they happen to represent all three races of Man.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Today Rusty and I decided to check out the first- time- ever India Fest that happened at the New Orleans Museum of Art.  It was a slam-dunk.  We were surprised at how many people came out for it since it was an unknown event but I think this means that many New Orleanians are ready to try a new kind of festival instead of the usual Gumbo, Shrimp, Cajun, PoBoy or Swamp Fest kind of thing.
The festival featured Indian food, Bollywood dancing, music demonstrations and lectures, Yoga, and other things related to the culture of India.  It was fun and we'll do it again.  Here is a photo I took of a Sari wrapping demon.  We had to give the Saris back!

Jazzfest always brings in all the musicians and many of them either come in early or stay over afterwards, doing gigs and just reconnecting with family, friends and other musicians in New Orleans
before going back out on the road.  Louisiana Music Factory always plays host to many bands throughout the two weeks at their in-store shows on their tiny stage in the middle of the store.  The place is always packed with people who want to get a chance to listen to the music and meet some of the artists.  My favorite gig this year was Dumpstaphunk, led by Ivan Neville who is the son of Aaron

 and featuring his cousin Ian Neville.  They rocked it out.  They also played a few days later at Lafayette Square to a much larger crowd.  All in all it was a Neville Week.  The next day I met Charles Neville,
one of the original Neville Brothers, standing in line behind me at the Postal emporium on Magazine Street.

Monday, May 6, 2013

FULL CIRCLE     2013

So, that about brings you all up to date on me.  Doesn't seem like it could actually be a whole year but I guess it is.  Lots of other stuff happened also, family illnesses, dramas, etc. but I am not one to post or try to even remember those things so why should I bother you with them?
After painting every spare moment that I could get for the entire winter months, I finally had my first Spring show, the Bayou City Art Festival in Houston, Texas.  It went well and I met a lot of nice, new customers whom I now consider to be my new friends.  I also met a lot of nice artists there.  I always do.  I don't have any photos from Houston but my booth shot looks about the same anywhere I set it
up (except that the paintings are always all new) so my new Jazz Fest shot will have to suffice.  We just wrapped it up yesterday.  It was a strange one this year because of the extreme weather.  It is usually beastly hot by now in New Orleans.  That is normal.  That is what we expect.  But this year it rained and rained, the wind blew and blew, the Fairgrounds  (where we hold Jazz Fest) became a vast mud pit that never dried out. and then it turned cold.  It was like summer in Canada.  The temps went down into the 40's and people were wearing coats and shrimp boots.  The thing about Jazz Fest, though, is that you can't stop people from having a good time and there is nowhere else I'd rather be!
Here's me in my booth in the Louisiana Marketplace area of Jazz Fest, 1st weekend.

In the middle of all this mayhem in New Orleans (yes, I'm talking about Super Bowl) we actually were allowed to have our Mardi Gras!  It is fabulous, as usual, with great parades, beautiful floats, King Cake,  Mardi Gras Indians, flambeaux and pure happiness.  Notice that I did not mention beads anywhere in the above.  My friend, Joy, and I were our usual skeleton selves.  Every year we make a new costume and march with the Bywater Bone Boys, an diverse bunch of disorganized people, loosely based on the real Bone Gangs who run through the Treme neighborhood at dawn.  We come out a little bit later, we at least let the sun come up.  Then we wander throughout the streets of the Bywater, throwing little smoke bombs and banging on garbage cans.  It is our chance to be juvenile delinquents for a few hours.  We join up with the St. Ann Parade, led by a band, and march into the French Quarter.  It is sublime.  It is an inexplicable feeling to be encircled by so many people, most of whom you don't personally know, surrounding you with love and confetti.  I wish everyone could experience that for just once in their lives.  Happy Mardi Gras!