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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, July 01, 2024

⚓Part Three, Snowball in the Sun / July 2024

 ~ Fiction ~

Roman à clef, cher.

Created A. I. free

by Leonard Earl Johnson 

of Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana

 www.LEJ.world 

© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved 

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July 2024

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Dedicated to 

Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson 1936-2024

New Orleans City Council, District C (French Quarter and Algiers), plus At Large.

PART THREE

⭐ Snowball in the Sun

Continuation of the Red Women Warriors Series

BY  Leonard Earl Johnson


 
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© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved

Your comments and corrections

are welcome

click here

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His Grace, the elderly TV-preacher from Baton Rouge

"Morality is doing what is right, regardless of what you are told.
Religion is doing what you are told, regardless of what is right."
~ H. L. Mencken

  
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Sylvia and Balthazar balance the green alligator briefcase on gray rick rack at the foot of the Moonwalk Steps leading to the Mississippi River ~ from The Battery atop the levee with its never used Civil War cannon.

  Sylvia washes the Republican Snowball Cube in the muddy water, while Balthazar shares a joint being passed between two Vietnamese-creole skateboard boys. The boys ask Balthazar why Louisiana does not celebrate Bastille Day. Balthazar does not really know. 

 The boys, who speak English, French, and some Vietnamese, say their Fathers, who speak only French and Vietnamese, brought the holiday with them to Louisiana from Vietnam. Balthazar thinks, how crazy that sounds. Then, how crazy that war was.      

A giant ship from the Port of Shanghai heads upriver to the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. 

His Grace, the elderly TV-preacher from Baton Rouge, and Stormy Daniels watch from the levee, standing next to the virgin cannon. 

He speaks to a flock no longer visible nor inclined to listen:

"A.I., Artificial Intelligence is nothing less than the epiphany of a new religion with claims of infallible Truth hidden behind an altar of electronic curtains. 

"Presented by new priests cloaked in the white vestments of science.

"Perhaps the World's new modern Saviors." 

Stormy Daniels sneers:
 
"Or perhaps its newest Serpent!"  

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The New Orleans Beltway train sounds its whistle and pulls its impenetrable iron curtain into view. Routinely momentarily separating each side of the levee.

 "Almost never running over a tourist," Stormy says.

  This short line rail system runs up and down The River connecting warehouses to outbound rail yards. It carriers no passengers. Not since some Yankee-hire director used railway funds to outfit a posh carriage, hire a Pullman butler, and take his family and friends on riverside rides, with wine and boudin sausages served on silver trays.  

Balthazar cocks his ear at the train's whistle, and reckons they should be making their reservations west. On Amtrak's ole number one, The Sunset Limited, America's oldest continuously operating train, since 1894, and the first to bear a personified name.

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   "Republicans and their traveling snowball,"
 Balthazar snorts.

    "Their problem is they don't know how to govern. Only how to wedge and fight. 

"Then scavenge the rubble, leaving their superstitious followers angry and bewildered on a field of broken pitchforks and fallen torches.
 
"What profit thee, if you scuttle your own ship to steal your own brass."

Balthazar is not only a fisherman but also a poet. In a land where still today poets commonly walk the levee.

The whistle blows again and the train pulls away.

~ to be continued ~




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Your comments and corrections

are welcome

click here

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Lagniappe du Jour


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The Ladies Wore Red,

July 2021

Origin Story

 

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,
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