LEJ's Blog

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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.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I'm back in the Land of Boudin. Mardi Gras in New Orleans was WOW!

by the Marquis de LEJ

(Leonard Earl Johnson)


Photo credits: Janis Turk

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Every one was in costume. I bet I didn't see three people out of costume.

Best L. A. Norma quip of the day, "What'd you come as? Or is that just the way you look?" to a cleverly attired man wearing only shaving cream, clutching a towel and a safety razer.

Norma came as a fairy. I came as an elder, overweight Lafayette. Replete with black red-lined cape. An Ausie hat with flipped up bill, banded with perfectly scaled Carnival tricolor beads, and pined on the up-flap with a jeweler's pin in the shape of a crown and set with Carnival tricolor glass jewels. Clipping zee cape at neck waddle was a large flat African-looking red-and-black choker, and the cape's silk ties. Down an ample chest hung a French tricolor string of beads separated with tiny gold studs and ending in a flat white plaster pendant with the engraved image of a dainty little Lafayette. The piece de resistance was a black bow tie proudly tieing off my white breeches at the equator.

A great glorious day without costume Katrina/Rita
references, and filled with old friends and blue sky. The lady who first had a telephone in our shelter came up to identify herself. She was in the elegant gold attire of a fancy angel. Which, in real life, she had been.


Media moguls in Town for Carnival


Paparazzi Janis Turk of Texas & New Orleans,

with Tennessee Williams Festival
Associate Director Karissa Kary

Outside Rue Royal's R - Bar
(pronounced "R-ah Bar-ah")

Mardi Gras, 2007


Also at the Maple Leaf
Sunday, March 18, 3 - 6 pm .

Josh Clark
and New Orleans Rum invite you to a very special event:
The book release party for

An answer to all the picture books we have about our state and city.

The book release party and signing, featuring dozens of our state's authors like Andrei Codrescu, Bev Marshall, John Biguenet and Leonard Earl Johnson

Free admission!
Free New Orleans Rum cocktails!

Also playing will be the dixieland jazz of Some Like It Hot.

If you wanna know more about the book, please see