It’s carnival time in the Crescent City. I’m sitting inside Faulkner House behind St. Louis Cathedral listening to musicians’ brass horns and drumbeats blowing up the alley from Jackson Square.
Two women entered with plastic beads jangling around their necks. One of them asked me for books about Mardi Gras. As I directed them to our New Orleans history section and reached for one of my favorites, Lyle Saxon’s Gumbo Ya-Ya (70th Anniversary Edition, River Road Press), a bearded man flashed by our glass doors playing his arms like a trombone. He flashed by again, marching high-knees, pumping an arm up and down with the jazz beat and tooting a loose fist at his mouth.
I opened the door and told him these customers wanted to know about Mardi Gras. He kicked ahead but set his solo parade at a slight diagonal and yelled back to us: “It’s about being happy, baby!”
We wish y’all a happy Mardi Gras!
-Alex B. Johnson, Faulkner House Books