The music starts at 6:30, and we are still awake and listening at mid-night. This is our annual Mardi Gras party, for which we travel to Rhodes on the Pawtuxet. About half way through Linda leans over and says, “You could never explain this one….”. So why am I brothering to blog about it?
This tradition, for us, started not in Rhode Island but in New Orleans a year or so before Hurricane Katrina changed the landscape. Jacquie made a comment about wanting to go the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for her 50th birthday, after hearing us rave about the event over several visits. We took them for a ride around NO, which Shane said “broke the fun meter”. I drove the pearl white Cadillac, but that’s another story in itself. To add to the entertainment value, we had Linda’s brother, Dave (Shane’s best friend) and his wife, Beth, slip into New Orleans to surprise them.
About five years ago, we were planning our annual RI winter visit. Linda read about some Mardi Gras dance that was scheduled for that weekend. Shane and Jacquie told us that they were planning to attend a Mardi Gras dance at this old style dance hall (Emily and Dick went there on dates in the big-band era). They had enjoyed the music in NO so much and knew that the bands playing were groups we had seen there. We now consult our calendar before planning our winter visit.
The line up is three cajun and zydeco bands. Each plays for about 1 1/2 hours. Not to let the volume decrease while re-setting the stage a local brass band blasts away on the dance floor (probably 75 x 150′). During the second break, they judge the costumes, as this is Mardi Gras. Jacquie and Shane have two daughters, with an excess amount of creative idea and talent. They won the grand-champion costume award three years running. This year, one daughter and a friend arrived as giraffes. I spotted them at the bar early on, but it took them about a half hour to make their way to our table. Of course, they took the prize. You can not see them in the photo, but their youthful legs probably helped…
Maybe what is hard to describe about events are not the who, what, where, etc. but the nature of the relationships. Whatever that energy is between us will motivate us to get through another year, and to plan for another Mardi Gras in RI. Meanwhile, remember that Mardi Gras is a transition to the Lenten season which speaks of another relationship which is just as difficult to explain.