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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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NewOrleans

The Price of Enjoying Live Music

Last Wednesday, 1/30/2019, schools were closed in Western New York State because the Polar Vortex came calling. The temperature hovered around zero and the wind blew gales. We had pre-purchased tickets to hear The Canadian Brass perform at our world famous Kodak Hall Eastman Theater. I half wanted my husband to say we weren’t going. Instead we put on our fleece lined jeans, a couple of layers of shirts and wore our warmest winter coats. So did everyone else. In our glamorous theater there was not a suit or dress in sight, except on stage. The music did not disappoint. In fact it was fantastic, catchy, even awe inspiring. The performers were also entertainers and we went home with happiness in our hearts and a new knowledge of an instrument we found out was a contrabassoon. Neither my husband nor I had ever seen one. The lady next to me showed me one on her phone, during intermission. The Fox model 900 costs $28,995.00. That’s more than my present car. I digress. Continue reading “The Price of Enjoying Live Music”

A Whole Big State

Louisiana epitomizes the phrase “melting pot” probably more than any other state. Throughout the history of the state, Native American, French, Spanish, German, African, Irish and Caribbean cultures have blended in a variety of ways creating a diverse and distinct culture in the bayou. From the food to the language, the music and history, Cajun (French Canadian or Acadian), Creole (European, African, Caribbean or Spanish mixed ancestry) and even the landscape impact the enchantment that is Louisiana. Within its mysterious gulf, Louisiana holds the secrets of pirates, conflicts of slavery and the paths of progress.  The bayou teems with life and stories untold. [courtesy National Day of Calendar] Continue reading “A Whole Big State”

Okra is Slimy

Originating in southern Louisiana during the 18th century, Gumbo is a dish that typically consists of a strongly flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener and seasoned vegetables which may include celery, bell peppers and onions, known in Cajun cuisine as the “holy trinity”. The dish is commonly served over rice. Gumbo arose from a West African word for okra, which many believe is how the name and the ingredient got intertwined. Continue reading “Okra is Slimy”

Bucket List Vacation

It’s National Read a Road Map Day. I love how these days occur where I can fit in a subject I want to talk about. A few of you noticed my blog was missing last week. That was a big compliment. I wasn’t in front of my computer because I was using a city map to walk the streets of New Orleans; mainly, the French Quarter, a bucket list vacation.

My husband and I like music. I prefer country and we have had the privilege of walking Broadway in Nashville a couple of times. Loved it. My husband prefers jazz so last week we walked the French Quarter and are ready to go back as we didn’t get our fill of Dixieland Jazz with brass instruments in the bands.  When we checked into the Royal Sonesta hotel on Bourbon Street they gave us a city map. We didn’t go anywhere without it. By the third day we pretty well had the streets in the Quarter learned, but then we walked to the World War II museum that was in the Arts district. I will admit, we liked our vacation so well, we have been talking about retiring there and dreaming about real estate.

Last night on NCIS, the team’s phones were hacked so they couldn’t use the GPS on them. Gibbs asked them if they knew how to read a map. We had to chuckle as we had just relied on a map for a week.

We also used to ride a Harley and one of the fun things we did is go on road rallies. The map we got was more like a written list of landmarks we had to follow to get to check points. We usually did it in the locale I was raised in and often arrived at our final destination in the top 10% of the group. A feather in our cap (helmet).

Reading a road map, whether landmarks one is familiar with, city street names one can’t pronounce, or following interstates seems to be a lost art among the young. I’m glad I know how to do it. And, if you like music and people watching, New Orleans French Quarter is a great place to do both. Take lots of single dollar bills as everyone expects a tip, even the guys that drape beads around your neck.

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