Ol' Man River Alive and Well?
Here's a story about the Mississippi River written by a friend's father, John Lester, in 1948 but I suggest you first take a look at today's "update" by ProPublica, here: "Losing Ground" to get a more complete picture. Now, back to 1948: ~(By John Lester) "The Mississippi River, the Mother of New Orleans, has influenced the map of the modern world more than any other and all because of the great part it has played in the history of America. The Mississippi and its tributary, the Missouri, form the longest river on earth. The present spelling of Mississippi is a combination of French & Spanish. Pere Marquette first introduced the name into geography in 1672, spelling it Mitchisipi. From time to time," Continued
"The Natchez" paddleboat on the Mississippi River at the river's crescent as viewed from New Orleans' Bywater neighborhood. This is where a sharp, C-shaped curve of the river is located, which slows the river flow and creates the siltation or high ground upon which the Vieux Carré (French Quarter) was built back in pre-Colonial days. That's why New Orleans is known as "the Crescent City."
Editor's Note: click "News & Views" for local stories, videos and photos of New Orleans; "Music & Art" links to the Times' YouTube channel featuring hundreds of local musicians, artists & poets from the French Quarter and nearby neighborhoods.
"Editorials" links to editor-publisher Thomas Balzac's comments on discussions by C-Span, NPR, PBS, etc., via Twitter (join in!) There's also a developing "Children's Page" and stay tuned for "jazz music" and "astronomy" pages.
This site is (obviously) under development and any suggestions are welcome. Thanks! ~Thomas Balzac
Song to Remember a Little Bird
Musician Mickey McLaughlin said he wrote the song, "'Good-Bye!' to a Little Bird" to remember a little bird he witnessed die in front of him "/all covered in black/ ...a little bird that British Petroleum didn't care about, obviously." His harmonica solo is as sweet as his question to BP is bitter: "Listen, Oil Man! / Tell me why / this bird only lands here to die? / I better hang my head and cry / and say good-bye / to a little bird / to a little bird...." New Orleans song-writer Mark ("Mickey") McLaughlin wrote this shortly before he passed away. It's about a little bird that landed in front of ol' Slewfoot (what locals named him decades ago) on his way home one day during the BP oil spill disaster...: "Song for a Little Bird"
"The bird was all covered in oil, and it broke my heart," he recalls. "I couldn't talk about it, but I did make a song to remember that little bird, a little bird that British Petroleum didn't care about, obviously."
Helping Students With Art
Students and at-risk kids learn to make art from Katrina debris such as discarded wood, doors, and cabinets recycled from the City's continuing re-building out of the ruins. In this video, local woodwork artist Daniel C. Garcia supervises Taylor Osbey and Anthony Jones, who are adding original artistic touches to several carved-wood guitars. Garcia, his apprentices, and his students have carved and painted more than 50 guitars; their goal is to depict every music club in New Orleans. "The Courtyard Gallery" and its after-school workshop is located in the French Quarter on Decatur between Ursuline and Gov. Nicholls
Daniel C. Garcia supervises Taylor Osbey and Anthony Jones, who are adding original artistic touches to several carved-wood guitars.