My Spy Boy is Full of Fire


Today is Mardi Gras.  The end of carnival season.  Tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, starts Lent.  The seasons here in New Orleans go quickly from one to the next.

I confess that I love carnival but tend to be underwhelmed with Mardi Gras day.  The mega parades are over the weekend.  And the Zulu and Rex parades are just too darned early.  And there’s all that sun–drinking in the sun can be trouble.  Especially come Wednesday morning.  So you can see why I haven’t done anything special for Mardi Gras day in over a decade.  I know, that seems weird.  But I usually take Fat Tuesday to catch my breath and revitalize myself for the remaining work week.

But today I was determined to do a Mardi Gras tradition I haven’t yet done.  I went out searching for the Mardi Gras Indians and the North Side Skull & Bones Gang in Treme.  We ended up at the Backstreet Cultural Museum.  And I was in for what would prove to be the best Mardi Gras experience I have had as an adult.  That is saying a lot. Volumes.  So what’s the big deal?

We arrived and there were a couple of the Bones Gang walking about.

And in short order, more kept arriving.

And they went out of their way to warm up to the numerous children that were there.

The folks that run the Museum were most welcoming in introducing themselves, and the Gang and Indians were very agreeable to having a ton of pictures taken of them.

For as intimidating as they look, they were inviting and warm.

Then we heard, “SSSSPPPPPYYYYY BBBBBOOOOOOOYYYYY!” and saw this Spy Boy coming down the street:

And, as tradition dictates, two blocks away was his Chief:

Then they made an announcement that Antoinette K-Doe died early this morning.  She was Ernie K-Doe‘s widow, and quite popular in New Orleans.  The Gang sang a funeral song in tribute to her.  Then followed it up with “I’ll Fly Away,” then “My Blood.”  It was sad and wonderful and respectful and joyful all bound together.

These are a proud people, the Indians and the North Side Skull & Bones Gang, and proud they should be.  It was quite the showing.

I will be back next year, and Sun will be with me.

Happy Mardi Gras, y’all.  You can see all of my Mardi Gras pictures here.  I’ll add the rest of my carnival ones soon!

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