Tuesday, October 22, 2013

There Is A House In The Big Easy

Somehow "there is a house in the big easy" just doesn't have the same resonance as "there is a house in New Orleans". (The Big Easy is one of New Orleans' nicknames.) I've been thinking about my long ago visit to "The Crescent City" (another nickname) ever since my daughter mentioned a few weeks ago that she was watching the trailer for American Horror Story: Coven and drinking cinnamon hazelnut coffee. To which her brother, Mark, posted the reply: "There. Is. A. House. In. New. Orleans."

I think I first began dreaming of seeing New Orleans for myself when I read Frank Yerby's book The Foxes of Harrow. The desire only heightened with the TV program Yancy Derringer (starring Jock Mahoney). I suppose it was only natural that Yancy and Yerby became entwined in my mind.
Then came the 1964 hit The House of the Rising Sun by Eric Burden and the Animals. Although the classic folk ballad had been covered by many, The Animals version is the one I relate to. At that time in my life, I doubted my dream visit to New Orleans would ever occur.

But occur it did a little over ten years later. I've made mention of my trip there in another blog or two. Here are some more memories:

I don't have pictures of the guest house where I stayed. But in my mind it was similar to this one. It was only a couple of blocks off Bourbon Street. Very New Orleans' "Double Gallery Style".

To me the best feature was a completely private brick courtyard in the back. Again, I have no picture of it. It was small and intimate - at that time quite original. i.e., not updated as I imagine it would be today.

Remember my July post about art that I like? At the time I mentioned a picture that I had cut out of a magazine and framed when I was a teen. It was of a woman sitting at a desk, writing a letter. I still haven't located the exact illustration, but the above would be similar.

Well, in my room in the guest house was a lovely antique desk. I wanted a picture of myself copying that illustration I was so fond of; guess I should have piled my hair on top of my head. What you can almost make out on my right hand is the souvenir from my New Orleans trip - a garnet ring.

The garnet is a cabochon approximately 1/4" x 3/8's" set in silver. I refer to it as my New Orleans' ring. I think I've already promised it to my daughter when I'm gone. If not, the granddaughters can fight over it - just as long as they know its provenance.

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