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Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

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.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

L. E. J . Today / Happy Thanksgiving!

There be no accounting for taste, but Chicory-Coffee ice cream is better'n. . . Oh, breathing fast after an ecstatic experience.

I took Amtrak's Sunset Limited back to Lafayette a couple of days ago, packing a fresh bag of Chicory-Coffee, and L. A. Norma. The train left the New Orleans station on time, and then stopped at the Huey P. Long Bridge over the Mississippi for two hours, awaiting two Southern Pacific freighters breaking the law.

By law, passenger trains are to be allowed past freight trains. By Dempublican or Republicrat habit, Southern Pacific routinely holds up passenger trains while their dispatcher and crews do whatever, probably dinner and a bobbing on Bourbon Strassa.

Parking on The Bridge is doubly wrong. While S. P. may own the roadbed in general, the Huey was built by the People of Louisiana and does not belong to these rogue train men.

The bartender told us the S. P. had been called on the carpet in Washington, to talk and wink and laugh with some Goofus W. Crime-Administration official about their massive delays -- sometimes as much as seventeen / twenty hours!

The train-crooks decided to consider their fines (probably low-balls levied in 1899) as an operating expense, and the Goofus W. Crime-Administrator agreed to allow them tax deductions on this "operating expense."

We arrived in Lafayette two hours late, and the Chicory-Coffee I brought with me is old and tasteless.

"Like you," L. A. Norma observed as she stepped on the station platform and lit up a Camel cigarette. It is a few days before Thanksgiving.