JazzFest ’19: Day I, Part I

Posted: April 25th, 2019 | Filed under: Ruminations | No Comments »

Back in the days before the Google, before computerized Radariffic Positrack Weathercast, you could go out blindly into the foray without any real certainty of nature’s intrusions.

No more, of course.

It is the first day of JazzFest, and the gates are, actually were, set to open in about forty minutes from this moment as I sit at the keypad. But those vexing Crescent City skies, as they are wont to do from time to time, have burst forth in abundance.

Arrivez les deluge.

Soooooooo, we are in a holding pattern down here in New Orleans.

I’m reminded of a day years ago, when my krewe breakfasted at Cafe du Monde, sprinkling our apparel with powdered sugar, and our tummies with fried dough as delicioso as there can be. The raindrops that morning were similarly softball sized.

My fellow festers then were not as obsessed as yours truly. One pair decided that a movie or trip to a museum was a more discerning option. But Ms. Phyllis, the most conservative of our gang, said, “let’s do it.” Her hubby agreed. Since which moment I’ve thought of her differently and considered her even more fondly than I had before.

(Meanwhile, as I write, OZ is airing a Henry Butler JF performance from ‘o2. The irony is that the fabled NO piano master  is covering “Riders of the Storm,” at this moment. Henry Buter? The Doors? Have I mentioned how much I love this cockamamie town?)

Of course, I’m reminded of serious inclemencies from the past.

The iconic day when Randy Newman stopped what he was singing, and swung in his classic “Louisiana 1927” as the rain drenched.

Heading out in the muck and mire after a Sunday brunch at Commander’s Palace to take communion at the Sacred Church of Santana.

Sitting with the Film Babe in a downpour, listening to some group working too hard to try and make it work, when we looked at each other and decided that trying to score a table at La Petite Grocery was a more prudent option. We did.

Scurrying from Etta James in the Blues Tent where the water, already ankle deep was heading north to knee territory, as one of our krewe, an MIT grad, keep warning of the lightning arcs.

Which is to say it’s part of the deal.

If the gates don’t open in the foreseeable future, I’ll be forced to join a different krewe for lunch at Galatoire’s. An onerous task for sure, but I’m willing to take the hit as a proxy for all those in listening distance.

The blessing in all this: This stormy weather will be outta here by late afternoon, leaving the rest of the weekend for joyeaux printemps, serious, dry bon temps roulez.

And dat’s what’s up wit dat.

Stay tuned.

— c d kaplan

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