Ol’ Robbo will be flying out on biznay tomorrow. This will be the second time I’ve done so on Ash Wednesday. The first time was back in 2006, the spring after Hurricane Katrina had flattened Noo Orleans, and my destination was Mobile, Alabama.
I was unaware of it until I visited Mobile the first time, but the city maintains the claim that it was the first to organize a Mardi Gras celebration and that Noo Orleans was a mere usurper of the tradition. (Rayther like the ongoing squabble over who held the first Thanksgiving. The local lawyer with whom I was working was quite sniffy about it.) And since Noo Orleans was still a mess that year, many people who would have gone there went to Mobile, instead.
By the time I got there on the Wednesday, downtown was an absolute cesspool, covered in trash and smelling to high heaven of beer, vomit and pee despite a very strong and blustery wind.
I don’t think there’s any danger of the same sort of thing happening this time, as I am headed to a completely different kind of place.