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
Just in time for Mardi Gras, we have some exciting rare books for you! If you are looking to enrich your Carnival with some collectible literature, come by Faulkner House and check these out.
The Mystick Krewe: Comus and his Kin. Perry Young. 1931. 1st ed. $775.00.
This out-of-print, exceedingly rare book is in great condition, and features color illustrations. Young’s book outlines the history of the Mistick Krewe of Comus, the Krewe that turned Mardi Gras into the celebration it is today.
Marched the Day God: A History of the Rex Organization. Errol Laborde. 1991. $150.00.
This is a rare first edition of an out of print history of the Krewe of Rex, “King of Carnival.” Rex, along with Zulu, is perhaps the most famous Mardi Gras Krewe. They were founded in 1871, and have been marching Mardi Gras day ever since. The highlight of the season is the Rex Ball, held across the street from the Comus Ball. At the end of the night, the two courts meet. To learn more about this uniquely New Orleanian secret society, come by to check out the book! (And if you are looking for something less collectible, we also have Laborde’s most recent book in stock, 2013’s Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival.)
Call us at 504-524-2940 or come by the shop to see or purchase any of these books! Happy Carnival!