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A French Quarter Moon

It takes a lot of water to wash away New Orleans

by larry slay
June 2, 2007

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A French Quarter Moon
I don't  know what it is about New Orleans but for some reason that city has always had a sway over me. Maybe it is the black delta mud which the mighty Mississippi River rolls into the New Orleans delta or maybe it is the people who are so unique. Voodoo, spicy food and of course the French Quarter, I don't know what draws me to that place but something inside of me keeps calling me back to that locale.

I remember a verse in a song and right now I can't remember who wrote the song but the verse went like this, "It takes a lot of water to wash away New Orleans." Never thought too much about that verse until I saw the effect of Hurricane Katrina and what it did to that  city.

In the few years since Katrina I have come to deeply respect the people of New Orleans. Yes, in my life, I have seen the seamy side of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter with their pimps, drug dealers and the rest of an underbelly that has existed before the time of Andrew Jackson. You have to take the bad with the good but there is just something about New Orleans that seems to get under you skin. One might say it is the delta mud which gets into your bloodstream and this could be true. I really don't know the answer. I have never believed in Voodoo but if you have ever had the opportunity to spend some time in that city I believe you might take the risk of coming  away with a voodoo curse. 

It happened to me  in the summer of 1969. I was attending the University of South Alabama when a friend of mine told me he had two tickets. Two tickets to get into a concert by Creedence Clearwater Revival and it was in New Orleans. My lord, John Fogerty, "Born on the Bayou John Fogerty", "Green River John Fogerty", I was in heaven. There was no way I was going to miss that event.

We had enough money to hitch a ride from Mobile Alabama to New Orleans but how to get the money to get back to Mobile  posed a problem. But college students can come up with some crazy ideas and my friend and I did just that, came up with a crazy idea...  But, you know,  it worked. We both played guitars and each of us had a hat.

Did you know that you can sit on the corner of Bourbon Street and Toulouse, after a Creedence concert put your hat out, belt out a few verses of "Born on the Bayou" and those nice people in New Orleans will drop enough coins in your hat to help pay for your gas back to Mobile? You know what was so nice about it?

We did it under a full French Quarter Moon. . .It takes a lot of water to wash away New Orleans

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