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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.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

✍ Then There Were Two / August 2021


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Our enemies were so weak we had to spend millions building them up so we could go to war with them. 

~ Dick Gregory 

circa 1965


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August 2021

⚓

Then There Were Two

From Red Train to Red Stick

Fiction ~
BY  Leonard Earl Johnson 
 www.LEJ.org âœ

© 2021, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved 


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The two red women forced from the other day's trainload of Red Women Warriors for The Donald, stood facing the door at Rêve Coffee Roasters on Jefferson Street.  

The red brick road to Rêve  / 
Photograph by 
© Leonard Earl Johnson


An array of menu choices pasted to the glass slowed their advance. 

They were further baffled when a barista with café au lait colored skin and gilded dreadlocks took ten-dollars and gave them two elegant slim glasses holding two ounces each of very black coffee, with a green sprig of rosemary dangling from its lip, and two red raisins on a toothpick laying at its foot. 

A blood pressure shootout commenced at the ole coffee bar.

Each woman opened a little silver box, and took out two white pills the same size as the red raisins.  They swallowed all with ice water served as a chaser along with the coffee.  Then they asked their exalted presenter of Expresso Rosemary about the next train to Baton Rouge.

There was none, she told them.  "But Greyhound," also in the Rosa Parks Centre, "runs several buses a day.  Takes about an hour, I think."

E. W. E. MOVING FROM NEW-TO-OLD CAPITOL
Photograph Â© Philip Gould
The red women's aim is to be in Baton Rouge in time to raise their banners before the laying out of Edwin Washington Edwards, the dashing Cajun Prince, three times Governor of Louisiana, for a total of sixteen years.  And one time Federal prisoner for eight years.

He would be laid out first in the New Capitol, and then in the Old.  The new one built by Edwards idol, Huey P. Long.  

Long was gunned down in the New Capitol in 1935, and interred on its grounds under massive tons of concrete.  "To thwart seekers of souvenirs and Republican dirty tricksters," L. A. Norma said.

The two red women plan on waving signs to "Revive the War in Vietnam," as mourners walk behind the Governor's horse drawn hearse.  It looked like the Greyhound Bus would do the trick on getting them there.

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The two had hung around Lafayette in anticipation of the fictitious "Biden on Bastille Day Concert."  

L. A. Norma had invited all the red women to attend.  No others did of course.  No one did.  There was no concert.  In fact, no recognition of Bastille Day whatsoever.  Nowhere in Louisiana.  And very little for Joe Biden anywhere in the state outside of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

They occupied themselves eating at sidewalk cafés, drinking in student bars with COVID-defiant social practices, and attending services at Saint John The Evangelist Cathedral.  Where they tried engaging the young Rector in their ideas to revive an obedient sacrifice of the flock through renewal of the lost war in Southeast Asia.  

Photography and poem Â© Leonard Earl Johnson

 "Like the honor bestowed by General Mouton's death at the Battle of Mansfield, during the 1864 Red River Campaign.
 
 "Before present day outlaws shot off his nose and got his statue taken down," they told the young priest. 

 He listened politely but from their first meeting turned the other way when he saw them coming.   ~ LEJ.org ðŸ‘’

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Leonard Earl Johnson, LEJ.org âœ
 
Photograph Â© Leonard Earl Johnson 

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They are posted on the first of each month and polished for the next few years.

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 LEJ's Louisiana, Yours Truly in a Swamp
is a monthly e-column @ www.LEJ.org,
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
© 2021, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved 

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