As a writer I find I have to make trips to certain areas to receive inspiration for new thoughts and plots. One of my favorite places for this is New Orleans Louisiana, a part of America that is different than anyplace in the country. History shows the territory was run mostly by the Spanish, but the impact of the French is found throughout the region, mostly due to the impact of French Canadians in the early years of New Orleans development. Then there is the strong influence of the Caribbean Island reflecting the days when the city was a major port for slavery. In my book “Hook, Line and Sinker”, Steve Sanders, one of the main characters describes New Orleans as follows:
A block away I heard the “clang, clang, clang” of the big green trolley as it moved down St. Charles Street toward the divide through New Orleans. This was definitely a crazy town with a flavor unlike any place I’ve ever lived. Often called “The Big Easy”, a title reflecting the almost daily party-like atmosphere perpetrated by the inhabitants, the city replicates a culture and heritage not found in the remainder of the country. As a person raised in the eastern section of the USA, I pictured my country’s history through the eyes of our ancestors who landed on Plymouth Rock, declared our independence in Philadelphia, fought the British in Boston and then spread out over a semi-inhabited land to establish America.
New Orleans is from a very different background and provides an abundance of history and culture, proving that my eastern America understanding was very presumptive. Created by the French, run periodically by the Spanish, inhabited by Canadians, molded by the Caribbean and planted in the south, it is a part of America truly declaring its own independence.
The afternoon breeze pushed through the banana palms with the promise of a cooling afternoon rain on this hot August day, a welcome relief in this tropical part of southern Louisiana. The air was filled with the smell of magnolias and gardenias reminiscent of a beautiful woman fresh from a long shower. The intense green of the tropical foliage seemed to have a strength and beauty not found in more urban parts of the world, and it all blended together in a rather mesmerizing place known simply as New Orleans.
So I, like Steve, am in need of New Orleans and thus I am going. It is French Quarter Festival time and I need to be inspired.
Gary “US” Bonds wrote a song that goes:
“Every Southern belle is a Mississippi queen,
Down the Mississippi,
Down in New Orleans.
Come on take a stroll down to Basin Street
And listen to the music with the Dixieland beat.
The magnolia blossoms fill the air
And if you ain’t been to heaven, then you ain’t been there.”
If you cant make it to New Orleans, you can catch some of it in my book “Hook, Line and Sinker.”
Check it out (click here).