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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.

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

⚓After the Ball Was Over / November 2022


Leonard Earl Johnson, on the Great Artway, Lafayette Louisiana

© 2022, Leonard Earl Johnson / All Rights Reserved


After the Ball 

Was Over

~ Fiction ~
Roman à clef, cher
by Leonard Earl Johnson 
of Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana

© 2022, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved 



 "Oh, Master, make me chaste and celibate 
- but not yet!" 

Prayer of Saint Augustine
~ Bishop of Hippo from 396 to 430 ~
 (present day Annaba Algeria)

The Bishop of Lafayette stood at The Rector's book shelf reading his titles: THE BOY BEHIND THE ALTAR, by Baltazar Boudreaux.  THE Baltazar Boudreaux of JFK Rocking Chair procurement ~ and the after dinner reader who stilled the air and joggled the crowd at its birthday presentation to The Bishop.  


THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT AUGUSTINE by Saint Augustine (published 397 ~ 400) fit snugly by its side.  Next to that a first edition, EUROPE ON FIVE DOLLARS A DAY by Arthur Frommer (perennially updated since 1957).

"Don't you ever throw anything out?" The Bishop asked.

"No.  I mean, yes, I do."  The Rector sat at his desk watching The Bishop, and fingering the tuft atop the three-
The Rector's French Biretta

winged French biretta on his lap.  He had purchased the biretta while still in seminary, 
one Summer touring the lavender fields of ProvenceWhen European travel was already up over a hundred dollars a day

"Today, you couldn't park your car in Europe for five dollars a day!" 

Lavender Fields of Provence
The Bishop snorted.  He looked hard at The Rector. "That you hadn't a clue Boudreaux might sound more like Father Gilbert Gauthe than Saint Augustine is abominable, Rector.  Damnable!"


"But forgivable, Excellency," The Rector pleaded, hands folded in prayerful supplication.  "Don't we both own the Boudreaux book?  I remember you purchasing it at the same time I did, at Sacred Heart."  

"That may be," The Bishop said, "But I did not authorize its reading to the flock!"

The Bishop was here to discuss the insoluble problem of how to undo that which has already been done.  

"A salacious reading of 'The Big Mamou Boy,' " The Bishop said, "before a huge gathering of Cloth and faithful!" 

"You see, your Excellency," The Rector continued, "Baltazar is a published poet.  Besides, he discovered the little JFK Rocking Chair presented to you." 

The Bishop smiled at the thought of the porcelain rocking chair's addition to his renowned collection of JFK assassination memorabilia.  The Bishop, then a boy of eleven, was there that day in Dallas.  As were future Presidents George Bush, the elder; Richard Nixon, the resigned, and Lyndon Johnson, on whom the jury of history is still out.  

The now Bishop of Lafayette was there because his Parents took him.  Bush and Nixon first said they were not there at all.  Later admitting that they were. "But not for any reason some court in The Hague might think," Nixon told his two Daughters and Gerald Ford. 

❤ 💣

"Yes, Bishop," said Baltazar Boudreaux, standing in the office doorway, "don't we all read Augustine?"  By his side stood Hildegard Bottlebrush holding a bowl of French fried potatoes, four wine glasses, and a bottle of Pinot Noir.  

They all sat down together at a small library table and passed round the French Fries and individual ramekins of mayonnaise flavored with Tabasco Sauce.  Hildegard spoke first, while pouring the wine...
  www.LEJ.world http://www.LEJ.org



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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.

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 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

© 2022, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved