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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

You Know You Were Rolling If…

Posted By on Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 12:49 AM

...your feet are still hurting 24 hours after the second line parade. Mine feel like they took a beat down from one of the trannies at this weekend’s Southern Decadence. I can barely walk today. The streets of New Orleans are not child’s play.

The Black Men Of Labor’s second line was all that a second line should be. Perfectly placed rain drizzles throughout the day kept the crowd from overheating. And they start their parades at 3pm instead of high noon – which is called ‘doing it right’. The rest of these summer-parading clubs need to get with this program. There were tents on the neutral ground outside Sweet Lorraine’s club with chairs for the older folks to sit in shade and watch the club coming out the door. And BMOL members Fred Johnson, Greg Stafford, Sunpie Barnes, Gralen Banks, Al Jackson, Big Mike, Benny Jones – all varying ages and shades of brown, looking wonderfully virile, handsome and colorfully festive. This is why I love Black men. Only a group of brothers can pull off wearing upholstery pattern pink and cream it not look like a wreck.

Another reason to love Black Men of Labor is they are NOT for foolishness. Theirs is a strictly old school second line. They pay respects to tradition and the ancestors, they put on a family parade, and they put the crowd on notice: no hoochie outfits, no blunts, no busted weaves (at least 20 showed up anyway), no singing songs about the PO-LICE! And it was still fun, if you can imagine that. But that’s enough for now. Time to get back to business as usual - skeet skeet! Jokes.

There was a noticeable amount of squabbling going down yesterday which is atypical of a BMOL parade. I saw at least three spats. To tell the truth, one of them was mine. Now I’m not usually the one beefing at a parade. But sometimes you have to let a person know you are not the one to be handled – this one of my all-time favorite New Orleans phrases. I swear, the minute you say aloud ‘So and so was trying to handle me’, the whole 504 area code goes into an AwHellNaw! wave and the orange-level alert lights are activated in the City Hall sign. In fact, if you shoot somebody and the cops show up, just tell them the other person was trying to ‘handle you’. Oftentimes, that’s enough for the NOPD to let you go without a citation even. That’s how serious folks are here about this situation.

As usual, the Treme Brass Band played the BMOL parade along with Corey ‘Bo Monkey’ Henry (FIRE!), and The Hot 8 Brass Band (MO’ FIRE!!). Local whosits rolling with the parade include Nine Times SA&PC, The Divine Ladies, Dumaine Street Gang (how many members does the DSG have anyway??? I saw like 60 shirts with that club name on it), Raynard Sanders, Keith Weldon Medley, Liberty Rashad, Helen Regis, Eli Ackerman, Michaela Harrison, Luther Gray, Brianna Burgau, Annie LaRock, Jerome Smith, and Uncle Lionel. That last one is the OG BMOL - he’s a parade all by himself!

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