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Leonard Earl Johnson (photo credit Frank Parsley) covered Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005), and the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for ConsumerAffairs.com. He is a contributor to Gambit Weekly, New Orleans Magazine, SCAT, Baton Rouge Advocate, Advocate Magazine, The Times-Picayune, Country Roads Magazine, Palm Springs Newswire and the anthologies: FRENCH QUARTER FICTION (Light of New Orleans Publishing), LOUISIANA IN WORDS (Pelican Publishing), LIFE IN THE WAKE (NOLAfuges.com), and more. Johnson is a former Merchant Seaman, and columnist at Les Amis de Marigny, New Orleans; and African-American Village. Attended Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship at Piney Point, Maryland. Winner of the Press Club of New Orleans Award for Excellence, 1991, and given the Key to The City and a Certificate of Appreciation from the New Orleans City Council for a Gambit Weekly story on murder in the French Quarter.

Saturday, June 01, 2024

⚓Part Two - Snowball in the Sun / June 2024

~ Fiction ~

Roman à clef, cher.

Created A. I. free

by Leonard Earl Johnson 

of Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana

 www.LEJ.world 

© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved 

⚓ 


June 2024

💀💀

💀

💧 

Part Two

⭐ Snowball in the Sun

Continuation of the Red Women Warriors Series

BY  Leonard Earl Johnson


              www.LEJ.world http://www.LEJ.org

 
💜 
💚

💛

💧

🗣😷

© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved

Your comments and corrections

are welcome

click here


💞


~ * ~     ~ * ~     ~ * ~

The Wrinkle Room door swings open framing the large, well distributed proportions of Stephanie Gregory Clifford, a.k.a., Stormy Daniels, the one-time straight-A high school newspaper editor, from the northside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  

Her silhouette falls on the brick floor, outlined in a noonday light rarely seen inside this dim room where earlier elderly men gave folding money to young things dangling from stripper polls.  

This morning, hounds of the Louisiana press following the strong odor of a good story and free food pack the doorway behind Stormy D. 

"Perhaps a Pulitzer-worthy saga of the lost-way-found class," two cub reporters from NOLa.com tell each other. 

"If not," shrugs a third cub, "free food and beer!"  

Balthazar offers hunks of Muffuletta dripping olive oil in the glass of a bearded old man wearing sun glasses and a grin.  The man speaks Cajun French and lights his cigar from a Zippo flame extended at the hand of Paula Jones, who is in town from Arkansas for a hairdresser's workshop at the Morial Convention Center. 

"Yes, it was sex," the old man tells her, "but we all have it.

"Some trade it for fun.  More accurately for dinner, a license, a home and stability. Others dicker, ever shifting, transactional for what they want more than sex ~ domination! Think of the Taliban. Hell, think of the Republicans!" 

He pulls on his cigar, drinks from his glass, thanks Balthazar for the Muffuletta and hands him his card.  He is a retired television evangelist, another philosopher from Ferriday, Louisiana, home of Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, Jimmy Swaggart, and the late ABC-TV anchor, Howard K. Smith. Now, this holy man of the electronic cross lives in Baton Rouge, and is seen regularly in New Orleans at the Kelsto Club Lounge, across from Antoine's Restaurant.

Sylvia asks His Grace and Paula Jones to stand with Stormy Daniels and Gennifer Flowers as they unveil the Republican Party's answer to Climate Change: A perpetually frozen Snow Ball, like the one they passed round the United States Senate promoting the party's Non - Global Warming Theory. 

Climbing on the bar amid the Muffuletta debris Stormy lifts up the clear crystal cube.  A small puff of what at first looks like frost floats out of the green alligator briefcase.  The puff is not frost but actually the dying gasp from the coal-dust generated freezer unit built into the green briefcase.

Condensation trickles down the outside of the cube.  Inside, a growing puddle floats a small round...

"What is that?" one of the cub reporters asks. 

It appears to be a small ball of ice, perhaps melted down from one of those large ice balls fashionably favored in today's upscale watering holes, lounges, and The Wrinkle Room.

💧🙏💧
💧

"Ah
bless us all in our withering Final Days,"
says the elderly evangelist, raising his prayerful hands over the congregation gobbling and quaffing in communion with their unquenchable faith. 

A lion of New Orleans commercial television leans into the ear of Peggy Scott Laborde, his local PBS counterpart, and says:

"I think Senator Inhofe's
 is melting."

The snowball, reduced to a bit of flotsam, drips condensation on the Muffuletta wrappings and
 scraps.  

The three apostles of the flesh look at each other and burst into laughter. The Evangelist draws on his cigar and blows smoke.  

Sylvia and Balthazar gather the briefcase and flee through the door into the light.

~ to be continued next month ~



🗣😷

Your comments and corrections

are welcome

click here

~    ~    ~

Lagniappe du Jour

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💜 💚 💛
💜   💚   💛

💜  💚  💛 

💜 💚

💛


~    ~    ~

💜  💚  💛

💧

The Ladies Wore Red,

July 2021

Origin Story

 

If you wish to read any month's column go to www.LEJ.world anytime. 
They are posted on the first of each month and polished for the next few years.
~   ~   ~
 LEJ's Louisiana, Yours Truly in a Swamp
is a monthly e-column @ www.LEJ.world,
Hosted by GOOGLE BLOGGER,
and historically at
Les Amis de Marigny, New Orleans
publication of the

It is written by Leonard Earl Johnson
of Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

⚓ Snowball In The Sun, Part One / May 2024

  ~ Fiction ~

Roman à clef, cher.

Created A. I. free

by Leonard Earl Johnson 

of Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana

 www.LEJ.world 

© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved 

⚓ 


May 2024

💀💀

💀

💧

⭐ Snowball in the Sun

Part One

Continuation of the Red Women Warriors Series

BY  Leonard Earl Johnson


              www.LEJ.world http://www.LEJ.org

 
💜 
💚

💛

💧

🗣😷

© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved

Your comments and corrections

are welcome

click here


💞


~ * ~     ~ * ~     ~ * ~

Snowball in the Sun


 http://www.LEJ.org

by Leonard Earl Johnson

~ * ~    ~ * ~    ~ * ~

The boastful engineer's long pull on the whistle announces Amtrak's ole # 2, smackdab on time for its 5:12 p.m. arrival from Houston, Texas, at the Rosa Parks Transportation Centré, downtown Lafayette, Louisiana.



The Mulattothe so nicknamed barista at Rêve Coffee Roasters, says to Hildegarde Bottlebrush,

"That's not something you see everyday, Amtrickle running ontime!"

The two women cross Jefferson Street heading for the passenger loading platform.

🚆🚅
 
Aboard the train, Sylvia tucks the green alligator briefcase ~ containing the Republican Snowball ~ under her footrest, and stretches out atop the last recliner lounge seat in the last carriage on the Sunset Limited, Eastbound for New Orleans.

Balthazar moves into the seat next to Sylvia, touching her green briefcase with the toe of his shrimper's white rubber boot as he does.  Balthazar is a poet / fisherman and his white rubber boots have sparkling plastic jewels hot glued round the tops. One, a yellow diamond, is a secret lockbox. His right boot brushes briefly but sharply against her left ankle.

The train pulls out and they settle into their seats waving to Hildegarde, who gave them a ride to the station.  The Mulatto hands Hildegarde one of the two paper cups she is holding and they both wave the train off from the platform.

Stormy Daniels
 Pride of Baton Rouge

Sylvia and Balthazar are headed to New Orleans for a meeting tomorrow with Stormy Daniels ~ the pornography industries' award winning erotic film star from Baton Rouge, currently appearing in a New York curtain call performance trimming Donald Trump's presidential poll.

Their meeting has been arranged by Gennifer Flowers, hostess-emeritus of the Kelsto Club Lounge, in the French Quarter, across from Antoine's Restaurant, on Rue Saint Louis.  

Flowers was once seen daily frolicking above the fold in splashy newsprint about her acquaintance with President Bill Clinton ~ when they all lived in Arkansas, and Hillary was a curiosity to everyone. 

"You'll get good government when you pull the politicians off the booty, the bottle, and the boobs, huh," Balthazar says.

Silvia glares at him and slaps a circular sticker to his shirt collar.  It reads, "Love America Love The Donald."

The meeting with Stormy Daniels, a.k.a., Stephanie Gregory Clifford, is set for high noon at The Wrinkle Room on Rue Chartres.

"Louisiana made, Louisiana proud!"  the Mayor-President of the state's capital city sarcastically remarks on Jim Engster's Talk Louisiana show.  "Makes pride swell in their hearts." 

The erudite master of the high wire microphone replies, "Or somewhere lower."  Switchboards in all sixty-four Parishes of the Sportsman's Paradise instantly light up. 

💜💚💛
 💧 

The Sunset Limited slips alongside the Superdome and comes to a full stop on time, inside New Orleans ironically named Union Terminal.  They gather carry-on bags and the green alligator briefcase and catch the red streetcar to the French Quarter.  

The next morning Balthazar removes one of the hundred dollar banknotes from his right boot's secret yellow jewel lockbox.  The money was given him by The Rector of Lafayette's Cathedral of Saint John The Evangelist, for a little porcelain rocking chair memento of the JFK assassination.  He places the greenback on the counter, and it is instantly snatched up by the saleslady at, "Home of the Muffuletta," Central Grocery on Decatur, across from the Mississippi River levee.  In exchange, she hands him a stack of red and white butcher paper wrapped sandwiches.

Sylvia and Balthazar take a pedicab to the Wrinkle Room and spread the unwrapped sandwiches atop the bar, in hopes the press will be lured to see two famed Louisiana Cupids unveiling Sylvia's Republican Snowball ~ and eat muffulettas and beer for free.

The door swings open and a gash of noontime light cuts across the brick floor.
    
~ To be continued next month ~
  © 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved


🗣😷
 

Your comments and corrections

are welcome

click here

~    ~    ~

Lagniappe du Jour


💜   💚   💛

💜  💚  💛

💧

 
💜 💚

💛


~    ~    ~

💜  💚  💛

💧

The Ladies Wore Red,

July 2021

Origin Story

 

If you wish to read any month's column go to www.LEJ.world anytime. 
They are posted on the first of each month and polished for the next few years.
~   ~   ~
 LEJ's Louisiana, Yours Truly in a Swamp
is a monthly e-column @ www.LEJ.world,
Hosted by GOOGLE BLOGGER,
and historically at
Les Amis de Marigny, New Orleans
publication of the

It is written by Leonard Earl Johnson
of Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana

Monday, April 01, 2024

✍Easter on The River of Bourbon Street / April 2024

 ~ Fiction ~

Roman à clef, cher!

Created AI-free

by Leonard Earl Johnson 

of Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana


 www.LEJ.world 

© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved 

⚓ 


April 2024


Photo credit: Leonard Earl Johnson
    
💜💚💛

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LEJ's 
Louisiana

a monthly e-column at www.LEJ.world



Yours Truly in a Swamp

by Leonard Earl Johnson
of Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana

Dedicated to
📚 Dead at 82📚


~  *    ~  *  ~   ~  *  ~



Easter on the River 

of Bourbon Street

by 
Leonard Earl Johnson
© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson,  All Rights Reserved


 
Jackson Square, NOLa    
 photo credit:  J. R. Tullos

After Easter MassL. A. Norma and I left the piercing witch hat towers of Saint Louis Cathedral and headed for the soaring two-story balconies of Bourbon Street, w
here we were lifted on the chaliced wings of whiskey served from temples bearing names like Oz and Bourbon Pub.

T
here are nightclubs named 'Oz' and 'Pub' on streets like this in every port city in the world. But only New Orleans has them so majestically flanking the intersection at 
Bourbon Street and Rue Saint Ann in the French Quarter.  

They guard a tourist/local philosophic line drawn in the cultural sands of Big Swamp City.  A line once crossed mostly by gay men.  Then, gay men and gay women.  Then, today?  A mix of those who might read National Geographic, follow Liberty's Torch, and not give a dimwit with whom the next table dances.  

It is here that red hatted tourists turn back to their comfortable hotels and edited narratives.  Beyond this corner pass today's Marco Polos and Colettes charmed by Louisiana's polyglot accents welling up like Sirens from Faubourgs Marigny, Tremé, and Bywater. 

We took seats on the balcony above the Pub's swinging shingle, and watched the masses below with their arms upraised in jubilation of Christ's Resurrection ~ or beads.  

There, touched by Easter's spirit and the elfin Mr. Booze we saw Jesus walking down this street of sin. He wore a crown of thorns over His long black hair. He wore sandals, too, and was naked save for a loincloth cut like the one in the paintings.  He was thin and looked like He might be Filipino ~ but mostly He looked like Jesus. Everyone on the balcony saw Him.

The Battle of Bourbon Street
Norma exhaled a cloud of cigarette smoke and said:
 "Forget the Crucifixion, skip the fasting and 
go straight for the Resurrection!"


True to His Book, Jesus was slumming with the local rabble and reveling in their Easter experience.  As were they in His.


"Their experience is a damn sight easier'n His,"  L. A. Norma said, tapping her index finger against a tiny silver figure hanging on her necklace.  The Crucifixion!  A 
two-thousand year old Roman gismo for torture elevated to the symbol of God dangling
 now on a silver chain hung round her neck.  

"It's like the Republicans' Donald Trump and the English King James edited their own Gospels!" Norma snorted, exhaled, then guffawed.

🚬

Everyone laughed and glowed in the righteous irony of her thought. 

A few years back, a few blocks up the street, the late Chris Owens ~ an elderly Bourbon Street dancer and nightclub owner with staying power ~ conducted her annual Easter Parade with self-anointed grand-marshal David Duke crashing the street party. 

"It's Bourbon Street," L. A. Norma said, "you don't need no stinkin' invitation!"

 A brass band made-up of midgets played along, while elder ladies of the snatched-bodies cult and a half dozen or so young bunnies in pastel furs marched down the street and rode atop pedicabs throwing Spring colored underpants and beads

 Easter maidens, Margareta and Chiquita Bergen
None among this human eddy gave any notice whatsoever to our walking Jesus, except a tourist family standing against the downstream wall of then Pete Fountain's (now Club Oz) directly across the street from where we sat. 

The father was wide-eyed. The girl, about seventeen, waved up to us. The pubescent son giggled and hugged his mother. Then along came Jesus headed straight for them. The tourist mother looked offended. She gathered her brood and paddled them off back towards Canal Street. Jesus did not seem bothered by their departure. 

"After all," Norma said, "He wrote the book on forgiveness." 


The sinners went on with their sinning.  The Pope appeared on the Oz balcony. He stood directly above where the tourist family had been and he was dressed head-to-toe in yellow and white satin. He blessed all who passed beneath him. He looked across the River of Bourbon Street and blessed us, too. We waved, and he motioned us over. We crossed the street and took our seats at the Pope's table.


We looked back at the Bourbon Pub balcony. The Pope, ever wise, said, "You cannot see yourself on the balcony you have just left." We had all had a lot to drink. 

The Pope handed out Wild Turkey and iced water, "Holy Water from the Holy River," he said.

Three real nuns, in old-fashioned black-and-white habits, came trotting down Rue Saint Ann, returning from a later mass. They passed our intersection headed towards Cathedral School. The Sea of Sinners parted. We all cheered.

"What would they think of seeing Jesus," L. A. Norma asked of no one in particular. She leaned over the balcony rail and yelled to the crowd below for Carnival beads. A photographer looked up and took her picture. I yelled down asking if he had seen Jesus. "No!" he shouted back. Would he like to? "Yes, of course, yes!"

The Pope lay his hands on my shoulders, and said, "Watch that woman, do not let her fall over the communion rail."

 Green Carnival beads landed on the Pope's pointy hat. They looked interesting, but he took them off and tossed them to two college boys on the street below. Norma told him the two boys should have opened their pants. He frowned and said sternly, "This is not Carnival!"

I said, "It is not Laughingyette either," but the Pope did not hear me ~ he was gone to find Jesus. Norma looked past my forehead and talked of far-ranging things.

The Pope returned without Jesus. He was balancing fresh drinks and passed them round the table. "He can not be found in this wicked den," said The Pope, handing out Wild Turkey and water.

When we looked up from our drinks we saw Him again. He was at our old balcony table across the street, waving. We waved back. His naked arms were lifted heavenward. His loincloth flapped in the whiskey-flavored air. The man with the camera jumped and shouted, "Your cross, your cross, show us your cross!"

Jesus looked down and bellowed: "Don't you know what holiday this is? It is Easter, I have no cross!" 

 LEJ wearing a younger man's beard.
During Katrina evacuation, 2005-06.
Atop the 
Presbyter copula, Jackson Square
The Pope, assorted communion-rail leaners, and other followers passing on the street below shouted, "Is it Carnival?"

It wasn't.  It was Easter on the River of Bourbon Street.


---------------


Copyright, 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved

🗣😷

For more L. E. J.'s Louisiana, Yours Truly in a Swamp go to 



If  you wish to read any month's story go to the archives at www.LEJ.world (stories posted on the first of each month and polished for the next few years.) 

Hope you do, I love talking with you,
Leonard Earl Johnson,
Columnist to the elderly and early weary. 


© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved.

* *

Lagnappe du Jour

💜💚💛
💧💥💧
 💧




💜💚💛





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April 25 ~ 28 (weekday interlude) May 2 ~ 5

💜💚💛

Next Month's Column

⭐ Snowball in the Sun

Continuation of the Red Women Warriors Series

BY  Leonard Earl Johnson


              www.LEJ.world http://www.LEJ.org


💜💚💛💜💚💛

Old Man on The River, New Orleans

Old Man with Sunday's Bunny
Jefferson Street, Lafayette, Louisiana

Old Man on a Bicycle, Jefferson Street, Lafayette, Louisiana
          Archives: www.LEJ.world

* * * * * * * * * * * * * 

© 2024 Leonard Earl Johnson,  All Rights Reserved.


© Leonard Earl Johnson 

Your Comments and corrections are welcome
click here

If you wish to read any month's column go to 
~   ~   ~
 LEJ's Louisiana, Yours Truly in a Swamp
is a monthly e-column @ www.LEJ.world,
Hosted by GOOGLE BLOGGER,
and historically at
Les Amis de Marigny, New Orleans
publication of the
It is written by Leonard Earl Johnson
of Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana
© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserve