Sunday, December 31, 2006

Who dat?

It was about mid-morning in hot, sticky New Orleans and I needed something wet to jump-start my day. Upon entering Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar on Tchoupitoulas St., I saw this guy in a faded yellow Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses, guzzling a tall Bloody Mary, holding court with a bunch of unsavory-looking characters from Connecticut.

"Who is THAT?" I whispered to the barkeep.

"Careful what you say, son," he replied with equal touches of awe and fear in his voice. "That's Johnny Gumbo."

Johnny Gumbo will appear nude at Johnny Gumbo's Nude Lounge upon special request, an event not for the faint of heart.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Engineers Race to Fix New Orleans Levees

By MATT CRENSON, AP National Writer

NEW ORLEANS - In New Orleans, the apocalyptic clock is ticking — again. Ravaged last year by one hurricane and slapped by the fringes of another, the city faces a 2006 storm season that begins in less than five months — not much time to repair the tattered ramparts that keep New Orleans from being swallowed by the sea. This year's hurricane season begins June 1. By that date, the U.S. Corps of Engineers expects to have the Crescent City's levees restored to pre-Katrina condition. The job is massive. It will take about 4 million cubic yards of fill — a nearly Superdome-sized pile — to repair the 170 miles of levee destroyed or damaged by Katrina.

"So far we're on schedule and we're doing pretty good," said Col. Lewis Setliff, the leader of the repair effort. There are many who fear that may not be good enough. "This is just a few Band-Aids, really," said Ivor van Heerden, a civil engineer at Louisiana State University. "We really need to go the step further and start implementing projects now that would make New Orleans safe."

Setliff says he understands such concerns. But as commander of Task Force Guardian, his mission is to repair the levees in time for the next hurricane season, and that is what he vows to do. New Orleans will simply have to live through 2006 with roughly the same protection it has had for the past 30 — even though that wasn't enough to fend off Katrina. "Everybody wants a lot of the long-term solutions overnight," Setliff said, but there is neither time nor funding to make major improvements to the barriers by June.

The $1.6 billion repair effort will use some improved construction methods and materials compared to what was in place before, decreasing the chances that levees breached by Katrina will fail again. It will also bring levees that had gradually settled over the years back up to their original height. But it will not raise the height of any levees or replace any sections that survived Katrina intact. - complete article

Friday, June 03, 2005

Black-eyed and Blues Fest at Bushnell Park with Johnny Gumbo

It was the 3rd of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day.... - lyrics - discussion

Attended the free Black-eyed and Blues Fest at Bushnell Park on Thursday evening with Johnny Gumbo. Beforehand, I was able to score a few new Johnny Gumbo tee-shirts at Best Image on Center Street and I must say they are pretty damn spiffy.

Red Hook Ale and a container of jambalaya gets us started.

EC Scott, a BIG 'ol woman and Black Buck recording artist from Oakland, was the first of two acts we caught. High energy, much in the 'mold' of Marva Wright. Very entertaining, backed by her tight, well-attired band 'SMOKE', although I could do without some of the "Let me hear how many out there....yada, yada, yada...." Finished with James Brown's "Try Me", which yours truly called minutes before as EC droned on with her intro (an excellent call).

Tutu Jones from South Dallas and Sherman Robertson from Houston played in the same set, but not together. Tutu was a little full of Tutu. This format was distracting (but not as distracting as the COLD wind that brought temperatures to near 30 degrees!!) and strange. Altogether, the music was ok, but merely ok.

Finished up with a cold one at the real Blackeyed Sally's and a 'fresh' pie at Papa's with TM and escort/dancer/political pundit Kim.

Monday, May 02, 2005


One afternoon after attending JazzFest, Gumbo, Barry, Mark and I stopped at Polynesian Joe's, a joint on Magazine Street near our hotel, for a cold one and a little action - pool.

Gumbo and I took 'em - real bad.