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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, July 01, 2021

⚓ The Ladies Wore Red / July 2021


"No tribe nor nation 
ever slaughtered innocents 
without approval granted by their priests,
and heralded by the choir."
 L. A. Norma

* * 
July 2021


The Ladies Wore Red

Fiction ~
Roman à clef, cher! 
BY Leonard Earl Johnson 
 www.LEJ.world âœ

© 2021, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved 


The woman walked out of the Rosa Parks Transportation Centré women's room in Lafayette, Louisiana leading a dozen or so similarly attired women.  All in red, from red rubber shoes to red ribband hats.


"We were hours late on the train from New Orleans," the red leader said to L. A. Norma, as she pulled a red can of Coca-Cola from a machine that looked itself 

Courtesy of Coca-Cola Bottling Company 
 like a giant red can of Coca-Cola.  Next to the coin slot a flashing light informs passing readers the giant red Coke promises the smaller red Cokes inside are made sweet by "Natural Sugar."  As though that would be good for you.  

We are deep in the heart of Louisiana sugarcane country.

Some ladies carry red, white and blue felt pennants attached to red sticks (made in China).  Most wore sashes proclaiming:

The Donald

"As if that would be good for you!" L. A. Norma said, exhaling Camal Cigarette smoke.

The ladies ~ called Red Women Warriors for The Donald ~ are traveling coastal Louisiana organizing a statewide Zoom-rally to stream July Fourth from Baton Rouge.

"Because the train rocked so, we couldn't use the restroom till now!" one lady told Norma.  Her red, white, and blue pennant bobbed as she talked.  It read, 'Turn Back Voter Turn Out.'

L. A. Norma handed each of them a card for her fictitious July 14, Biden on Bastille Day
Falsely promised on Lafayette's outdoor International Stage, a block from where we were standing at the Rosa Parks Transportation Centré Amtrak Stop.

A bronze statue of Rosa Parks sitting on a bus seat ~ today wearing a blue COVID mask ~ watched.  The seat by her side was empty.  Tourists sometimes sat there to have their picture taken.  None of the red ladies did this.  Their leader walked among them and gathered Norma's handouts.  Two refused to turn over theirs.  They were asked to remove their sashes reading, 'Committee to Revive the War in Vietnam.'  Then they were moved to the rear of the group. 

They all departed for a late lunch at Dwyer's Café on Jefferson Street.  Norma lit a Camal and we walked over to Rêve Coffee Roasters on that same great art way of a street.

Two days later we returned to the Rosa Parks Centré and watched the Red Ladies boarding the train for Lake Charles, the town Louisiana's Washington delegation and FEMA forgot after their hurricane.  

Two Red Women Warriors remained on the platform as the train rocked and wobbled off down the tracks.  ~ www.LEJ.world✍

Leonard Earl Johnson with Rosa Parks / photo credit: Mark Konikoff

~  *  ~      ~  *  ~      ~  *  ~

⚓  âš“ ⚓ 

~    ~    ~


Leonard Earl Johnson, www.LEJ.world✍
Photograph Â© Leonard Earl Johnson

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
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
© 2021, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved