October, 2005 -
Six weeks after Katrina and only hours before the first second-line parade to revisit the Quarter....
Leroy Jones and Katja Toivola miraculously put together a wonderful second-line band. How do they find both the proper instrumentation and musicians in a devastated city that so many outsiders were calling "dysfunctional?" They did what our detractors couldn't do; made something happen.
Mardi Gras 2009 -
Leroy is again leading the Society of Saint Anne to the Mississippi River where we throw our deceased's ashes into the river. He has many of those same musicians that he gathered after Katrina. Again, our detractors equate Bourbon Street with Mardi Gras but now we know the outsider's claims are merely projections of themselves. A failed inkblot test.
For those taking the time to understand the unique culture of New Orleans - our culture is our people. People like Leroy and Katja and all our deceased from Katrina and last year.
That was my Mardi Gras.