Thursday, August 23, 2007

Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?

Homesick today! Look at these boiled crawfish! Don't they make your mouth water? How about the cafe' au lait and beignets at the top? Mmm, lunch, anyone?

Anyone out there know what it means to miss New Orleans?

My mom and grandmother lived there, I have cousins I miss all over town, and New Orleans itself is always on my mind like a dear friend, one I am finally about to visit again for the first time since Katrina!

I've written a 100,000-plus-word story that takes place there as well as in Israel Paris and--Pensacola. One of these days, an editor will recognize its sterling qualities. LOL

But I digress.

Leave a comment if you like, tell me some of your favorite thoughts about that fascinating historical city by the Mississippi.

Natalie, a dear friend in Arizona, a glorious place in the Sonoran Desert where I used to live, just sent me this joke about a good lawyer in Louisiana and his encounter with the FHA:

Only in Louisiana - you have to love this lawyer -

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client who lost his house in Hurricane Katrina and wanted to rebuild. He was told the loan could be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to the parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the Lawyer three months to track down. After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply:

(Actual letter):

"Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin."

Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows:

(Actual Letter):

"Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased, by the U.S., from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application. For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to Ind ia by the Spanish monarch, Isabella .

The good queen, Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus' expedition. Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world.

Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana . God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it AND the FHA.

I hope you find God's original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our loan?"

(The loan was approved !)

Love it! And it reflects some of the rich history of New Orleans. And that got me started on this blog.

Yes, God definitely created Louisiana, and my soul will rejoice to be there soon. : ) At the 160th birthday of a precious, historical church, (click here:) Zion Lutheran.

Established in 1847, it has seen the Civil War, and lost two pastors in the Yellow Fever epidemics.... My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother all went there, and my aunts and great-aunts.... My beloved cousins have organized a wonderful celebration and one of my grown daughters is going down there with us. Can't wait.

So, I can definitely answer yes to the question.

I'll just have to sit down and watch Buccaneer starring Yul Brynner with hair, as the pirate Jean Lafitte, and then, maybe Undercover Blues with Dennis Quaid, hilariously silly. And King Creole, Elvis's favorite, a drama by Harold Robbins.

And, oh, here's one of my favorite places, Preservation Hall. Click on their Radio button.

And this is fun, also from Preservation Hall, Complicated Life

When I heard another song, New Orleans Ladies, tears flowed over those street names, I was so grateful that "the sliver by the river," the French Quarter, and the Garden District where my grandmother lived, all the way down to the antique stores along Magazine Street, where I used to walk to the bank and grocery with my grandmother, had escaped Katrina's fury.

And can you help me out and name this song?

Remember Captain Kangaroo? He'd play a song video about a riverboat, whose title I never knew. It has a line like, "River Queen, what have you seen from St. Paul down to New Orleans and all the small towns in between that know the river's song? --- Don't leave me standin' on the shore, but if you've room for just one more, how 'bout takin' me along?"

The producers didn't remember the song and it's not on Google. If anyone out there knows the name of it or where to find it, please, please email me or leave a comment below.

Meanwhile, I'm about to get down my suitcase and get my tires checked because I am NOT "Walkin' to New Orleans"!

God bless, and happy humming!


Marion Kelley Bullock said...


Though I don't know New Orleans, I enjoyed your reminiscing.

Hope you have a great time.


TwistedCandles said...

Yeah, I know that feeling. And welcome home, even if it is just for a visit.

Margo Carmichael said...

Thank you both, Marion and T.C. Home is where the heart is, and New Orleans definitely holds a piece of my heart.

Anonymous said...

I know nothing of New Orleans. I've never been there. Maybe someday God willing. But I hope you have a great trip. I know it will be different just like when I go home after years of being away. GOd Bless.
Jane Squires -

Margo Carmichael said...

Oh, thank you for your good wishes, Jane. I hope you get there someday, too. God bless!

Michelle said...

Hey, your blog was making me hungry until I saw the police tape over the bowl. :) I'm still working on finishing the Mushroom story.

Margo Carmichael said...

Oh, that bowl. Yeah, stick with the crawfish! LOL

Anonymous said...

Yes, I know what it means to miss New Orleans--the land of my father and kin, the neighbor of my childhood. Jazz, Cafe'du Monde, cafe au lait, beignets, muffaletta, sauce picante, crawfish etouffe, Mardi Gras, street cars, live oaks, riverboats, ... aw, until I can return. I hope your return was blessed. It is a soul thing that's hard to explain to those who've never lived or been.

Margo Carmichael said...

It was indeed blessed, Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by. I'm adding your blog to my list, too.