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Wendell Eugene: A Night to Remember by Neetu

January 26, 2021 by in category Poet's Day by Neetu Malik tagged as , , , , , ,
a trombone in a spotlight

Wendell Eugene: A Night to Remember

Rain drops drizzled
from the night sky,
café lights twinkled
in dream-lit New Orleans

you strode gracefully–
ninety and one years of life
trailing grandly behind

your trombone
dazzling on the stage,
you raised a toast to
the joy of living
among fans and friends

I watched you tune
your gleaming instrument,
lifting it to your lips
with the ease
of one who knows
an old Fidus Achates–

as one who has carried
ecstasy and heartache
through time’s mist
and glory

my eyes
transfixed upon
shimmering brass
as you played

you turned to the applause,
our eyes met, you smiled

awed by your presence,
charmed by the smile
of a music man

who brought jazz to life
every night

for me, it was a first time,
and perhaps the last
at that fine restaurant.

©Neetu Malik

In honor and memory of Wendell Eugene (1923-2017), the longest-performing jazz musician/trombonist of New Orleans.

Some of Neetu’s Books

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e-maginings: Plantation Trip Report

March 17, 2010 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

Last month I promised a report on my trip to New Orleans for EPICon2010. What I didn’t intend was to come home sick as the proverbial dog.

Janet Quinn Cornelow was my traveling partner, and our trip started well. We got to New Orleans on time after a quick change of planes in Nashville. The next morning we had a little time to shop and explore the French Quarter before being picked up for our Plantation Tour. We first visited magnificent Oak Alley, one of the most photographed plantations in the country, noted for the column of 300-year-old oak trees leading down to the river road. We had a very nice tour of the house which has been lovingly restored with furniture of the period. I can just imagine the grand house parties that took place here, but unfortunately bankrupted the owners. This is a photo taken from the rear of the house. Check out the Oak Alley website to see the oak trees.

Our second stop was at Laura Plantation, a Creole plantation. The tour here was different and very interesting. Apparently the Creoles had a different attitude toward inheritance. Instead of leaving the estate to the oldest son, they put the smartest child in charge, even if she happened to be a girl. As a result, Laura Plantation was run by women through several generations, the last being Laura Locoul Gore. The tour was fascinating, and I bought the book of Laura’s memoirs entitled Memories Of The Old Plantation Home & A Creole Family Album by Laura Locoul with commentary by Norman & Sand Marmillion. Laura’s life was long and interesting, but too involved to detail here. I was really glad we picked this particular tour. Here’s my photo of Laura’s plantation home.

Laura is less grand than Oak Alley, as it was more a working plantation than a showplace.

That’s all for now.

Linda / Lyndi

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e-maginings: New Orleans Dreaming

February 16, 2010 by in category Archives tagged as , , ,

Today is Mardi Gras, “fat Tuesday” in French, the last day to feast before Lent. Mardi Gras is the cumulation of the Carnival season which begins in early January. The date of Mardi Gras fluctuates since it’s tied to Easter.

When Americans think of Mardi Gras, we think of New Orleans, which is on my mind lately since I’m planning a trip there for EPICon2006. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities, and this will be my fifth trip, and the first since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Some day I’ll set a book or short story in New Orleans; it’s such a great location, romantic and sensual, but with a seamy side. This is a photo of a painting of antebellum New Orleans painted by Orry-Kelly, fabled head of the wardrobe department for Warner Brothers. It’s a little hard to see, but it shows a carriage moving toward Jackson Square. Orry-Kelly dressed Betty Davis in Jezebel (1938) and may have gotten his inspiration for this painting at that time. There’s more about him here.

Here are a few links about New Orleans history that you might find interesting:




I hope to have a trip report for you next month. In the meantime, Happy Fat Tuesday!

Linda McLaughlin
aka Lyndi Lamont

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