Jambalaya, and a-crawfish pie and a-fillet gumbo

~ 31 Days to Mardi Gras

Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou ~ HANK WILLIAMS – JAMBALAYA LYRICS

I want to introduce you to a woman you’ll want to get to know. Maggie Worth. She’s my guest blogger this week. A BIG Thank you! to Miss Maggie.

Before we get to Maggie, we must set the mood with this week’s musical selection by Lucinda Williams

She’s strumming out one of my favorite tunes, Jambalaya, a Hank Williams tune.

(Uploaded 9/28/2009 by csparksnc1 on YouTube)

 

 

Now, herrrre’s Maggie!

 

 

Galleyphoto Maggie

Twenty-year Twelfth Night

My first real awareness of Mardi Gras came in 1997. I’d recently built an ATM network for a convenience store chain and discovered that armored car companies don’t run in New Orleans during the celebration. I was mildly surprised – I’d never realized Mardi Gras was that big a deal – and simply laughed when my vendor recommended I load $60,000 in ATMs that rarely went through ten grand a week. After much cajoling, the rep convinced me and I ordered the funds from the bank. Four hours into the festivities, the first machine transmitted an out of cash message. Within 48 hours, the other five followed. I was stunned.

A few months later, I got another glimpse into Louisiana culture when I interviewed a 19-year-old candidate for my recently-created assistant position. She’d moved from New Orleans to Atlanta just days before and promptly had her purse stolen. Determined not to miss the interview, she loaded what remained of her personal items into the only receptacle she had — an empty Crown Royal bag – and walked into my office as if it were the most normal thing in the world. I hired her on the spot, she was one of the most creative employees I’ve ever had, and she’s one of my best friends to this day.

The next year I finally had an opportunity to visit New Orleans. I was there only a couple of days and had meetings to attend all day, but I did get to spend a memorable evening in the Quarter with a cousin I hadn’t seen in years and managed to snag a shrimp po’ boy at Mama’s, something I’d been counseled not to miss.

Fast forward to early 2010. I was hunting up writing opportunities in an effort to get my freelance business off the ground and discovered the content farms. Since I only made between $15 and $17 per 400-word article, I tried to choose only assignments I could complete within 30 minutes. Once in a while, though, a title captured my attention and I’d spend hours researching a topic I knew nothing about, just because I wanted to learn.

Such was the case with “The History of Mardi Gras Costuming.” I’d never made the connection between Mardi Gras and Lent, hadn’t realized it was originally a French tradition, and didn’t realize that masking was originally identity protection rather than mere fun. I learned about the colors, the traditions, the krewes, and the music. I was so fascinated that I quickly decided to use the Mardi Gras theme for one of my annual girl parties, complete with tunes, drinks, beads, masks, and games. Plus a king cake baked by a local bakery named, appropriately, Lagniappe.

For years, I’ve told myself I’d go to the celebration someday, but never actually done it. Reading Linda’s blog has inspired me, though, and last week I made a discovery. In 2015, Mardi Gras falls on my birthday. Sounds like a girls’ trip to me! Who’s in?

Check out Maggie’s article The History of Mardi Gras Costuming http://www.ehow.com/about_6629359_history-mardi-gras-costuming.html

Now, some facts about Maggie:

Maggie is an author, speaker, reader, life learner, dog schmuck, polka-dot obsessionist, hair-flower fancier, future professor, foodie, and dreamer. She publishes nonfiction under her own name and light erotic romance as Maggie Montgomery. She’s toying with a romantic suspense, which might someday get published under Maggie Washington and will need even more names if she ever gets around to writing her comedic mysteries, children’s books, middle grades cowgirl series, and that horror screenplay lodged somewhere in her cerebellum. She blogs at fiveforfiction.com and welcomes followers at http://pinterest.com/magsmontgomery.

Many thanks to Maggie for sharing her story with us. I’m going to take her up on her offer of a trip to New Orleans in 2015.

And, if you can’t wait until then, any time is a good time to go. (Though, I wouldn’t recommend July and August) If Mardi Gras is not your thing, but books are, then consider RT BOOKLOVERS Convention in New Orleans May 14-18, 2014.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Linda Joyce
www.linda-joyce.com

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About Linda Joyce

Writing is a curious journey. You don't pick it, it picks you. See my website at www.Linda-Joyce.com to learn more about me.
This entry was posted in Food, Mardi Gras, Music, New Orleans, Writer's Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Jambalaya, and a-crawfish pie and a-fillet gumbo

  1. pamelavmason says:

    I can’t wait to read your article!
    Your story is the flip side of how we NewOrleanians (Orleanais? N”Awlins Ladies? wait… ) view our world. New Orleans is its own country, with its own traditions and schedule. It just happens to reside in the U.S., – kind of the way the Vatican City resides in Rome.
    And… I had Mardi Gras fall on my b’day once. There I stood, shouting out “It’s my birthday! Throw me sumpthin’ Mistah!” and a woman next to me smirked and rolled her eyes at me, as if to say “Really?” Yeah lady! REALLY!

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Miss Pamela,

      You have given people a most important tip. When at Mardi Gras parades, you gotta YELL: Throw me sumpthin’ Mistah!”
      It’s the only way to get noticed. If one doesn’t yell, then one goes home empty handed unless one intends to get into a wrestling match with the old lady standing by. As you said before, never underestimate them! They got goin’ on!

      Smiles,

      Linda Joyce

  2. Donald Clements says:

    Ooohh Mii o myo. 🙂 Great fun! Gotta practice my yell.

  3. Donald Clements says:

    Great story Maggie. Ya gotta hire anyone that uses a crown royal bag as a purse!

  4. How fun! I loved the article. It’s in my bucket list to go to Mardi Gras one year. Thanks for sharing Maggie!

  5. Thanks Savannah! 2015, I’m telling you 🙂

  6. Cheryl Hart says:

    Anyything I know about the Mardi Gras I learned from you, Mags. The Mardi Gras Girl Party was a blast. 😉 I’d like to say the real thing sounds like fun, but you know me–I hate crowds. I’d be as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs! haha.

    I’ve never met the girl with the Crown Royal bag, but I like her. Spunk! 🙂

    Enjoy the birthday fun in 2015!

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Cheryl,

      Great to have you stop by. Maybe Maggie needs two birthday celebrations- one with a NOLA theme with Mardi Gras goods after the Birthday trip to NOLA.

      Smiles,

      Linda Joyce

  7. Great idea, Linda! I’m really starting to look forward to 42, lol. Yeah, Cheryl, I think you maybe wouldn’t love Mardi Gras, but I heart you just the same.

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