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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.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Captain LEJ, Bahamas, 2013


$19.99 by mail

Available by mail

"Let your friends know how utterly indolent your Life is!" 

~ L.A. Norma

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Green and White Beer Koozies
Swamp readers with a thirst

$3 each 
-- sold out --

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Get a magnetized image of LEJ's fat face to scare off post-hurricane vermin from your refrigerator!

Photo credits: Frank Parsley

Magnet size: approximately 2 x 3 inches

"Don't risk another year like 2005!
Keep the bugs out'a your ice-box next time!"
 ~ L.A. Norma

$2 each

Send a self-addressed and stamped BIG envelope along with   
$2 for each magnet

for each T-shirt
$19.99 + $5 shipping or ~ BIG SALE ~ $25 for both T-Shirt
and Magnet!

Blueish grey only color available
S., M., L., XL 
Uber size 2XX available for $2 extra.
Mail order to:

Leonard Earl Johnson
Box 202
302 Jefferson St.
Lafayette, LA 70501

This ad, all its art work, graphics
are Copyright, 2016, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved 

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Forty Days of Lent

L. E. J. as the late Ernie K-Doe

Yours Truly in a Swamp


Leonard Earl Johnson

Reprinted from Les Amis de Marigny, New Orleans

April 2010

"Ain't nothing in the world time and money won't cure." ~ Ernie K-Doe, New Orleans Musician and Emperor of The World

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Forty Days of Lent

by Leonard Earl Johnson

On Ash Wednesday, all over Louisiana, Carnival lifted its joyous mantle, leaving Lent's ashen smudge in its place. At New Orleans Saint Louis Cathedral, business suits stood cheek-by-jowl with crimson capes and smeared-lipstick ladies awaiting priests dressed in the vestments of Sorrow putting The Sign of The Cross on their foreheads, with thumbs dipped in the ashes of last year's Palm Sunday palms. Outside, a soft rain washed The City. I have many doubts about theological things, but none whatsoever about this ceremony. To ashes we shall return.

Lent is the strangest holiday in all the Christian calendar. Also the longest. Should you need reason to be suspicious of any religion's political powers, consider the fact: Carnival's pleasurable length shortens often, a result of the inaccurate Papal Calender. Lent's, by Canon Law, never does.

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Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is the last day of Carnival's ever-changing season of joy. Next day, Ash Wednesday, is the first day of Lent's never-changing season of suffering.
The Catholic Calendar, by which we measure all this, is not too accurate, what with the date of Easter changing with the moon!

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Easter is the end of Lent. It is also a ceremony about Spring. Borrowed from religions that came before Christianity. It may be the oldest human celebration, and it is calculated (or miscalculated), again by Canon Law, with instruments created with faith in suffering and suspicion of pleasure.

Suffering is not to be monkeyed with in theological calculations. Carnival's pleasures, however, are reducible, by God (or His agents with their inaccurate stopwatches).
Lenten fasting repairs Winter's damage and Carnival's excess, and prepares us for Spring's rebirth. Like the jazz man says,

"Blow the roof off the sucker ..."

It has been a good Lent this year, with sunny mornings and a warm place in the kitchen to read Internet newspapers and sip coffee. The live oaks outside our dormer windows are a soft young green. Live oaks don't dump their leaves till Spring's new buds arrive (as followers of JFK conspiracies know). Then they change from old dark green to young soft green almost overnight. Today soft-green rules Big Swamp City, and we old alligators lie on the banks in whatever sun we can find dreaming of Easter baskets and Spring.

(A version of this story first appeared in 2004)
Copyright, 2010, Leonard Earl Johnson

For more L. E. J.'s Yours Truly in a Swamp go to
w w w . L E J . o r g

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