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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.

Monday, May 01, 2023

βš“Return of the Red Women Warriors / May 2023

βš“ βš“


Andrew Jackson on a horse 
Jackson Square, New Orleans / Photo credit: Eric Douglas


Return of the Red Women Warriors


Fiction ~
Roman Γ  clef, cher! 
BY  Leonard Earl Johnson 

Β© 2023, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved 

 Sylvia, the shorter of the two Red Women tipped her red beribboned hat and handed the bus tickets over to her slightly taller fellow traveler, Dillard.  The tickets are to Baton Rouge.

Dillard had waited at RΓͺve Coffee Roasters while Sylvia was entrusted to cross Jefferson Street and make the purchase.  

Dillard accepted the tickets and dropped them in her red purse.  Both women's purses, hats, and shoes are brilliant shades of various reds; and the sashes across their breasts read: "Turn Back Voter Turnout!"

Their departure is in a half hour from under the clock tower at the Rosa Parks Transportation CentrΓ©, Lafayette, Louisiana.  

The two Red Women Warriors are in pursuit of a place to promote their causes.  Causes not only of turning back voter turnout and reviving lost wars at home and in Asia, but also Party denial of Constitutional rights to privacy in all things but guns. Thus ending forever every American woman's choice. 

"The horrifying abortion wedge-issue!" L. A. Norma says. 

"Replacing it with politicians in black robes and stone council.  In other words, the American Taliban!"
πŸš₯ πŸš¦ πŸš₯

Clock Tower,
Rosa Parks

Transportation CentrΓ©    
Lafayette Louisiana

 The Rosa Parks Transportation CentrΓ© clock is handsomely part Walt Disney and part French modern.  It towers over the parking lot bus bays, train platforms, and taxi stands, keeping track of time for travelers too hurried to keep it for themselves.  

 The two Red Women finish their Espresso Rosemary and walk across the street to the Greyhound loading platform.

Their first stop came twenty minutes after departure.  Then again in a half hour at crossroads somewhere where they were told to get off and board another bus. 

"All passengers going to Baton Rouge," the driver said, opening the hydraulic door.

Dillard looked at her ticket.  Then at Sylvia's.  "We are going down the Old Bottom Road," she said to no one in particular.  

A young man carrying a black and white chapbook and wearing white fisherman's boots with plastic colored jewels glued to the tops answered, "Yes."  Eyes heavily lidded, the fisherman, poet, and travel-advisor turned his shoulder enough to let a shaft of sunlight cut through the bus window and strike a large yellow jewel on his left boot.

Dillard's question had been rhetorical but she thanked him anyway.  He nodded and returned to the arms of Morpheus.  The yellow light splattered around his face and spackled the empty seat by his side.

Dillard and Sylvia moved down the aisle and down the bus steps. The driver explained they had taken the local, "The one making multiple stops and arriving in Baton Rouge after sunset." 

"But that's after the Governor's funeral!" Sylvia said.  Dillard glared back at her.

For no reason either woman could explain Dillard was the leader of their little landing party cast off for insubordination, as they had been from a trainload of Red Women Warriors for The Donald crisscrossing Louisiana.  

She thanked the driver and gave him a sticker that read, Turn Back Voter Turnout.  He looked at it before dropping it in the waste can. 

Dillard and Sylvia reboarded the bus with new tickets taking them to New Orleans.  "We will arrive there in time for Louis Sahuc's final second line," Dillard said.

Louis Sahuc
 New Orleans Photographer
Louis Sahuc lay in his own bed in his Lower Pontalba apartment above Photo Workshis streetlevel shop and studio on Jackson Square.  

Louis Sahuc lay in hospice care.  

Friends gathered beneath his balcony with traditional Louisiana bravado and musical instruments.  He did not rise to wave to the crowd ~ as some had hoped ~ but he did expire the next morning before Sunrise. 

πŸ’œ πŸ’šπŸ’›

Sylvia set to hanging a banner between the pillars below Sahuc's balcony facing Decatur Street.  The second line band, To Be Continued, played When The Saints Come Marching In, while celebrants waved their white handkerchiefs.  

Sylvia's banner read: 
Peace is the Cause of Bad Wars,
Never Stop Fighting
 πŸ ‡πŸ ‡ πŸ —

Two Vietnamese creole youths on skateboards swept down the sidewalk past Saint Louis Cathedral, rounded the corner by the Lower Pontalba, and took out the banner. 

They surged across Decatur Street and up the Battery ramp to The River.  At the bottom of the Moonwalk Steps they set the banner ablaze.  Sparks fluttered out over the gray rickrack.  The muddy Mississippi passed by.  


Sylvia and Dillard left Jackson Square in disgust. Their pamphlets to revive the War in Vietnam blew over the wrought iron fence, tumbled across the green, and gathered at the statue of Andrew Jackson victoriously astride his bronze mount after turning back the American's second war with England.

The two Red Women, dejected, walked up Rue Chartres with their red rubber shoes squishing faintly in the ear of the hot pavement.  At The Wrinkle Room they pushed open the door, and got very drunk

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Leonard Earl Johnson, www.LEJ.world βœ
Photograph Β© 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.

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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
Β© 2023, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved