Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Carnival Time


By Steve White

I came into my office this morning, whistling that most infectious of tunes to any New Orleanian past or present: Al Johnson singing his almost eerie signature tune “Carnival Time.” Think about it for a minute, and you can hear it too: ”Oh well, it’s carnival time, everybody’s havin’ fun!” I know that my internal Mardi Gras clock has started ticking when that campy song comes to my lips, no matter where I am living. It happens every year, but this year it’s no surprise. There’s been a lot in the national media over the past week about the kick-off of Carnival in storm battered New Orleans. Then, just today a friend sent some pictures of the parade scene over this past weekend that show mighty sparse crowds along St. Charles Ave. It’s a melancholy Mardi Gras for sure. Yet it’s also a chance for New Orleans residents and people everywhere who care about the city to re-focus attention on the continuing needs there. Local columnist, educator and humorist Liz Scott, aka Modine Gunch, said it best in her Times Picayune opinion column last week, calling for locals and Carnival revelers to fly their American flags proudly, and upside down, to remind the rest of the nation of a simple but important message: “We need help,” Scott concluded her op ed piece. And they do! Check out Scott's article in its entirety at http://www.nola.com/archives/t-p/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1139900610172530.xml.

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