Monday, September 3, 2012

They Grow Up Part 1 : NewOrleans 1988


"How good of an actress are you?" That's what I asked Amy on our first night in New Orleans. We were in trouble, I thought. "Don't let them see you're afraid, especially when it comes to your 17-year-old daughter," I thought.  We had come to NOLA for college auditions drama and theater. Just the two of us. And now we were lost. On foot.  First night.  And Daddy was sweating bullets.

     We had eaten in the French Quarter near where we were staying and were walking it off, seeing what things were like.  Except we kinda went a little to far.  Oops.  Bad area to be on a stroll. Getting nervous. Show no fear.  Riiiggghhhtt..  "How good of an actress are you?  Put on your sunglasses and take my arm. Maybe they will feel sorry for the man and his blind girl and not fool with us. Oh, and there's a curb coming up. Step"

     We were a little loud so everyone could kind of hear us when curbs and crossings came up. Or bumps or anything else that would trip a blind girl. But it was like the Red Sea parting....people couldn't get out of the way fast enough.  It was like we had the plague. And nobody fucked with us.  So I guess the answer was "Good enough, Daddy!" She sure was that first night. And it was just getting dark.

     Every one goes to Bourbon Street, right! Ok. We hear some killer blues coming out the door of The Old Absynthe House. Lets go in. "Act like you're 21," was all I said to her.  Since she's 17, ok almost 18, and has been introduced to adult beverages and been very responsible regarding such,  and we have 4 days here, and she will be leaving for college in the fall, wonder what if....WTF..why not... "Two drafts please," I tell the waitress. I mean whats the worst  that could happen?

     Nothing thats what. Zip. Nada. For 4 days. They never asked us for ID anywhere. Ever. Now I don't know what the drinking age was in New Orleans in 1988, but it seems the parameters for this trip had  been, shall we say, broadened.

     Marva Wright. Oh my God can that woman sing a song! We went to Old Absynthe House for at least a while the next three nights. It was AWESOME. I wonder if she's still around.

     The auditions were an anticlimax. The kids had like 5 minutes to do a monologue as I recall, and they were there from everywhere.  But we were in NOLA. Loose in the Big Easy.

     Another bar also caught our ear as well. I wish I could remember its name (help me out Amy).

     Rock and Roll. They had a band that rocked Freebird and such. (c'mon please). And rock they did. I returned from the restroom to find her not at the table where I had left her but dancing with a middle aged man with a Russian accent who said when he asked her to dance "You would like to enjoy?"

     Not that she would ever flirt with anyone, but by the time we were ready to come home three days later, she had a poster signed by the band, had been asked out by the drummer, (yeah, not gonna happen honey but nice try), had at least got the OK for said drummer walk her back to where we were staying,(I offered to walk on the other side of the street ....."thanks Dad." problem).

   We had our first father/daughter trip. It was so special. We talked. We laughed. We had fun. We sucked some crawfish...yeah not so much...maybe it was the Hurricanes that night.  We closed the Rock and Roll bar a couple of times. Eight months later she left for college. If you dads out there ever have the chance before they leave, take a trip with your girls. Just ya'll. You won't regret it.

But this would only be the first such trip....there have been a couple of's one by the girl herself:


  1. Beautifully captured, Daddy.
    The band was called Scarab, but I am challenged to remember the name of that bar. I will always remember Marva Wright at The Olde Abisynthe House, though. That woman rocked "Dictir Feel Good" like nothing I have ever heard before or since.
    Thanks for bringing me up right.
    I love you, Daddy.

  2. You are a lucky man, and Amy is a lucky girl. Well done.

  3. Love it, and both of you. Thanks for sharing. I remember hearing about that trip but not in this much detail. :)

  4. This.was.awesome. You are such a cool dad, Wy!! I cansee Mags and Cheis doing this in the future...but not before Chris and I get there first, alone! It's on our bucket list, at least. ;)

    Awesome job!

  5. What a fun trip, and awesome memory! Ry and I take lots of trips together. I hope she looks back on them and has the same feelings. I loved my trips with my pops too. It's fun to hear about y'alls adventures!

  6. Thanks Kari. We did great all things considered.

  7. That sounds like a fun trip!
    And kudos to any dad who will sneak his daughter into a bar (and then make sure she gets out of it!)

  8. Thanks Guap. That was a lot of pressure. What a city.

  9. Great story, Wy. I've been everywhere you mentioned and have seen the indomitable Marva Wright. An amazing talent.

    Incidentally, I believe my proud state was the last to raise its drinking age to 21. A fact I loved as a teen but would have HATED as a parent. In 1988, they were starting to make the transition and a lot of young people were still grandfathered in. Consequently, I went to my first bar, Fat Harry's, when I was only 14. Mind you, it was Mardi Gras day. But still…

    1. Thanks Michele. She was so good too. Marva and Amy. Think I saw Marva on a show called "Music Rising". Great show about Katrina and trying to raise money to replace destroyed musical instruments.
      think you can buy the dvd there. It is great! U2, Arlo,lots of others. Gibson made guitars to sell to raise money.
      Thanks again


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