“BOOTED, NEW ORLEANS STYLE”
In the year 2000 my computer did not crash, nor did the world come to an
end as was predicted by many people. However, I did visit the Crescent
City in June for the very first time. I have lived within a four-hour drive but
never felt the urge to actually visit the city until my daughter, Kay, called me
with some news.
Her husband, Lester, was a pastor in Wyoming and was on the Wyoming
Baptist Convention board. The Southern Baptist Convention was meeting
in New Orleans in June at the Super Dome, and he had a part on one of the
programs. Kay wanted to fly here and then drive down to New Orleans,
meet Lester, and attend the convention. That sounded pretty good to me, so
plans were made.
We located a motel room fairly close to the Super Dome and thus were able
to attend the meetings, both afternoon and evening, as planned. On the last
night of the convention, Kay announced that she wanted to take a walk
through the French Quarter “just for the fun of it”. Most of my conception
of the French Quarter had been formed by watching the crazy people
celebrate Mardi Gras on television. I was somewhat reluctant to take the
walk she wanted. But you know how dads and daughters usually end up in
these things…dad concedes.
Amazingly, I found a parking spot right off Bourbon Street, and the four of
us began our trek through the French Quarter. There were many interesting
buildings, as well as strange people. I felt a little uncomfortable. Then Kay
said, “I have always wanted to hear a live Dixie Land Band. You think there
will be one down here?” Well, I opined that there probably would be one
somewhere down the street. Then we heard some music wafting out of a bar
ahead of us.
The four of us walked into the bar and sat down at a table in the back. The
band was producing some good New Orleans music, which, I had to admit
was pretty good. Shortly a young waitress appeared at our table, “May I
take your order, please?” I told her that we were not ordering anything, just
wanted to sit and listen to the band for a few minutes. She left.
Engrossed in the music, I did not notice the older woman accompanied by a
rather large bald man walk up. The woman looked us over and said, “You
will have to order something or leave.” Stunned, I ask her to repeat what she
had just said, noting that the big man had inched closer to the table. “Well,
you can’t occupy a table without ordering something. So, either order or
Wow ! I had never been thrown out of a bar before. So, we got up from the
table and I told her, “Lady, we do not drink, but we have been thrown out of
better bars than this one”, which was a lie. As we walked out on to the
sidewalk, I told Kay, “Well, I guess you have a story here to tell your kids
and grandkids. You got thrown out of a bar in New Orleans for not being
We all decided that the French Quarter was not the place for us. I have no
plans to ever return. I am sure I will be missed.