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WAY DOWN YONDER IN NEW ORLEANS
                    IN THE LAND OF THE DREAMY SCENES
                                               THERE'S A GARDEN OF EDEN
                                                              ...........YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN
                                                                             (Best vocal by Louis Armstrong)
In the middle of March, 2004, Linda and I set out to conquer the difficulty of airports, lost luggage, large traffic and no deadlines in the "Big Easy."   When we were courting, I asked her if there were anything special that she wanted to go see.  She replied, "Pete Fountain."   For decades, he had been a fixture in New Orleans, giving its jazz a sophistication and tone that was always understandable.  Pete is a lot older now (73), but his style, skill and creativity is undiminished.  He plays the clarinet as though it were a friend from birth, and his humor and enjoyment of performing is contagious. 

So, after a stopover in Dallas to visit with Linda's sister, Judy, and her children Aira and Casey, we landed at Louis Armstrong International Airport.  We decided to stay at the Bienville House (named after the founder of the city), located in the French Quarter and drive to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi for the evening to hear Pete play.

HIGH: Learned that Pete Fountain owns a bit of Casino Magic, plays there and is no longer in New Orleans.
 
low: it would have been nice to hear him on Bourbon Street.

HIGH: Learned that Pete Fountain has a tatoo on his belly, a bird, probably an owl, that is creatively done.
   low: we learned this when he opened his long sleeved dress shirt and flashed us with his belly.

HIGH:
We were uncertain how to make the connection back to I-10 and so I stopped into a "quick trip" to get directions.
  low: I pulled in and for a moment did not notice that I was about to park in a handicap parking place.

HIGH: The person in the car next to me, when I did park, knew exactly how we could get to I-10.
   low: the driver was a State of Mississippi Policeman.

HIGH: I, of course, had not been drinking

All in all, it was a wonderful evening.  For the rest of our stay, we walked the French Quarter, took a carriage ride amidst its cobblestones, gambled a little at Harrahs, rode the steamboat Natchez down and up the river, shopped, ate good food and enjoyed the ambiance of a city built on the history of the Indians, Spanish, French and Americans. 

There is not only dancing in the streets, there is drinking in the streets, mime in the streets, horses in the streets and of course tourists in the streets.  It is a wonderful city to visit and we enjoyed every minute of it.....well, almost every minute of it.
HIGH: We got to the airport in Bakersfield on time, packed and ready to go.
   low: our plane was 45 minutes late arriving and thus departing.

HIGH:
We got to Phoenix safely.
   low: we were 45 minutes late and missed our connection to Dallas

HIGH: We were placed on an American Airlines flight that left about 1:45 minutes later.
   low: it was in another terminal

HIGH:
We made the flight on time and arrived safely in Dallas.
   low: Our luggage did not.

HIGH:
Linda's sister Judy was there to meet us.
   low: Our luggage was not.
HIGH: Delta flight to New Orleans on Monday was on time, great to ride and our luggage came with us and arrived at the same time. :-)
   low: car rental had a defective remote control on driver's side window...we reported it.

HIGH:
Drove safely the mysterious roads of the interstate to downtown New Orleans, then to the French Quarter, where we checked into our hotel  The Bienville House.
   low: our room was not ready

HIGH:
Got into our room finally about 4:00 p.m.   Yea!
 
  low: room had one chair, coffee pot leaked, and most importantly, the passanger elevator did not work.....we had our luggage sent up to our room.

HIGH
: The service elevator did work and we generally found our room o.k...great bed and close to the service elevator.
  
low: service elevator does not work after 10:00 p.m.

HIGH: The Bienville House, located at 320 Decatur St. is just inside the French Quarter, only four blocks from Jackson Plaza and 1.5 blocks from Bubba Gumps.
  
low: we walked a lot more than 7 blocks...:-)

HIGH:
The bed was great to sleep in.
  
low: the hotel fire alarm went off at 2:00 a.m.

HIGH: Everyone stayed calm.
   low: it was 2:00 a.m. and the "fire" was from an overcooked bag of popcorn in someone's microwave.
THE BIG EASY
WHO WAS MIKE FINK? (UPPER RIGHT)
New Orleans has a beautiful Riverwalk, beginning down at the end of Canal Street and extending for about a quarter mile in each direction.  Within it, is this display indicating the significance of this city to the United States.  All rivers from the Rockies to the Appalachian Mountains drain to the mouth of the Mississippi River.  The exhibit highlights some of the important persons, features and culture which are attached to the city's history, including Mike Fink.
THE FRENCH QUARTER
PASSING THROUGH DALLAS
CRUIS'IN DOWN THE RIVER
HIGH: We went on a cruise down the Mississippi past various shipping stations, the site of the Battle of New Orleans, and the levies that keep New Orleans from being covered by the sea.  We saw plantations, tugboats, ocean freighters, and floated through a bend in the river where the depth of the water is over 200 feet.  A mighty river indeed!
  
low: two classes of elementry school students were on board...noisy, busy, dangerous as they ran and genereally tiresome. :-)

HIGH: Great trip followed by more shopping and then a decision to leave New Orleans that night so as not to have to struggle to the airport in the morning to catch our flight.
   low: had to pay $50 for the privilege of checking out a night early.

HIGH: We found wonderful lodgings at the Wingate Inn, one mile from the Louis Armstrong International Airport.
    
low: we were directly in the landing flight path.
RETURN TO INDEX
RETURN TO INDEX
LOUIS ARMSTRONG, PLAYING FOR HIS WIFE IN FRONT OF THE SPHINX (TRUE PICTURE)
PETE FOUNTAIN, AGE 73
TATOO DOES NOT SHOW HERE
MARDI GRAS LEFTOVERS
BIG MAN....BIG SOUND
L-R: LINDA, DICK, CASEY, JUDY, AIRA
JEAN LAFITTE NATIONAL PARK
THE BIENVILLE HOUSE, 320 DECATOR ST. NEW ORLEANS
OUR ELEVATOR !
OUR BEDROOM
CLICK HERE FOR THE ANSWER
IN THE HEART OF THE FRENCH QUARTER
SOME OF THE VERY BEST FOOD
BUBBA GUMPS WITH VERANDA SEATING
This is a wonderful restaurant,burgeoning with memorabilia from both the movie,
Forrest Gump, and from the various decades during which Forrest lived and learned.  Each of the restaurants located around the United States has one authentic article from the movie.
JENNY'S ORIGINAL WEDDING  DRESS FROM THE MOVIE
THE DUGAS SIDE OF MY FAMILY HAS A LINEAGE TO LAFITTE,
MAN'S WIFE WAS FROM IOWA SO HE INCORPORATED THE CORN DECORATION ON THE FENCE TO MAKE HER FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE.
HAND ROLLED CIGARS
JEAN LAFITTE'S BLACKSMITH SHOP.
This is one of the few places in New Orleans where he was known to live.  Most of the time, he was in expensive homes far from authorities.
Tennessee Williams home from which he observed and wrote about the Streetcar Named Desire.
A privateer (simply put, a legally authorized pirate), Lafitte used his hoard of munitions to arm Jackson's army at the Battle of New Orleans.  Some of his property later came to hold large supplies of oil.  When the heirs were contacted, dividends were mailed out.  My mother received one for $1.39.  My uncle Jean may have been named after him.
A CHESS SET COMPOSED OF COURTROOM FIGURES IN NEW ORLEANS.
DEFENDANT IN CHESS SET, A NEW ORLEANS FLASHER.
NOT A PROVEN FLASHER... SEE "JANET."
THE STRIDING GENTLEMAN WALKING HIS DOG.  \
This is a mime, and he adopted this pose as our steamboat docked.  He held this pose for the next 15 minutes, breaking it at that time to let a young boy pose with him for the camera.  He was the best mime I have ever seen.
WELCOME TO BREAKFAST ON DECATOR STREET.
CARRIAGES ON THE STREETS OF NEW ORLEANS
OUR CARRIAGE
HE DID NOT BREAK HIS POSE FOR ME!
OUR DRIVER
LINDA TREATS "BUSTER" OUR MULE-POWER FOR THE RIDE. 
ON THE NATCHEZ, ONE OF ONLY FIVE STEAMBOATS ON THE MISSISSIPPI
WATCHING THE WAKE OF THE PADDLEWHEEL
WE WERE GRACED WITH CELEBRITY
(NOT)
TONAGE ON THE MOVE, ACTIVITY FILLS THE RIVER
RAW SUGAR REFINERY, ALONG THE BANKS OF THE MISSISSIPPI....STILL IN OPERATION TODAY.
LOADING COAL ON THE MISSISSIPPI
HENRY FORD AUTOMOTIVE PLANT WHEREIN HE MANUFACTURED MODEL-A VEHICLES WITH RIGHT STEERING, FOR EXPORT TO BRITAIN.
MEMORIAL AT THE SITE OF THE FINAL BATTLE, WHEREIN ANDREW JACKSON'S MEN AND JEAN LAFITTE'S MUNITIONS DEFEATED THE BRITISH  IN 1815
HOMES BUILT BEHIND THE LEVEE. THEIR EXISTENCE DEPENDS UPON KEEPING THE LEVEE WELL REPAIRED
JACKSON MONUMENT IN JACKSON PLAZA, NEW ORLEANS
JACKSON IN FRONT OF CATHEDRAL.  THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE OF 1803 WAS SIGNED IN THE TURRET TOWER TO THE LEFT.
WHEW!
I'M DONE
CLICK HERE TO SEE PADDLEWHEEL IN ACTION.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CALLIOPE
Jackson earned an enormous reputation as a result of his success in New Orleans.  While George Washington was our first president, Jackson was our first popular president and he brought a "people's style" of governance to Washington, D.C.  His years in the White House witnessed the beginning of the Democratic Party.
WAAAAAAAY  BELOW THE LEVEE