Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Orleans Preservation Hall postcard

How could I forget abut Preservation Hall. It was one of my best-like places there. I/we visited every trip I/we went.

The Preservation Hall Band is made up of volunteers who are devoted keeping their type of music alive. They are mostly elderly, but occasionally you will see a young jazz/Dixieland enthusiast with his horn playing with them.

The first time I went there in January 1965 the audience sat in church-like pews and a collection plate was passed. I am not sure if that was the case on the next visit or not. But, by the third visit, the management had learned of their demand – a full house every night, to have you pay a donation at the door – I’m pretty sure.

They just play good improvised music, that is all. No showy stuff, just stuff like “Want You Come Home Bill Bailey” , “Hold That Tiger”, and whatever else they want to play.

I think we bought cassette tapes there on our last visit, and maybe later Rocky bought some Preservation Hall CDs, or maybe I did – I forgot… but now we have a collections and just the other day on my walk I loaded my MP3 player with a Preservation Hall Band album and Willow and I strutted to their beat up and down the streets of our neighborhood.

Next to Preservation Hall is the famous watering hole, Pat O’Brien’s, and they serve the famous Hurricane and Cyclone drinks in their special souvenir tumbler shaped glasses.

Across the street from Pat O’Brien’s and Preservation Hall is an ice cream shop. After our Preservation Hall time we dropped in the ice cream shop and ordered, well, I guess ice cream.

They had little round tables that looked like they belong in an ice cream parlor – well? While we were enjoying our ice cream, the black clerk, with a white cap on looked like he was feeling good, dancing and bumping to the music on the radio. Then, I think they played something like YMCA and he really started rocking. He started dancing around and I was his focal point. He was pantomiming the words and he would dance around me and point at me to emphasize the words in the song… wild!s And terribly embarrassing for me…. With a red face I took his jesting and dancing in good humor. Anna, Adam, and Rocky got a big kick out of it.

Damn, why can’t I be invisible when I want to be?

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