Sunday, February 3, 2008

Groundhog Day

In the movie "Groundhog Day" Bill Murray lives through seemingly endless permutations of the same day, February 2. My Groundhog Day here in New Orleans was, perhaps, the exact opposite of Murray's plight. It was over before I knew it. While it may be true that I was not able to vie for the hand of the comely Andie MacDowell, there were so many items on the agenda that I hardly had time to catch my breath. It started early enough with my usual Saturday morning activities preparing to attend religious services, but it was much more involved because I was sponsoring the Kiddush luncheon there in honor of my father's yartzhiet (anniversary of his passing). I was given an honor and asked to talk about my father following two other members of the synagogue whose father's death coincided on the same day on the Hebrew calendar, Shevat 28. After they had talked about his connection to the synagogue, I was asked to speak. I acknowledged that while my father didn't regularly attend services, he nonetheless felt that it was a proper duty for a man to belong to a synagogue and that he was a member of Beth Israel from the time he married my mother. "My father was a prominent figure, but he was a man of few words," I continued. "He would not deign to hold up these services, so I will conclude with what was his favorite expression: 'If I'm not there, start without me.'" It was a wonderful morning capped by the appearance of my son David there for a short, but meaningful period. Unfortunately, the services didn't end until noon and the luncheon that followed put me on a very late start that prevented me from watching the Krewe of Iris, the female parade organization I work with during the Carnival season. I did watch the Krewe of Tucks, who celebrated their 40th anniversary yesterday I remember when the "krewe" was nothing more than the result of inebriated Tulane students gathering at a nearby bar and parading with pickup trucks on busy Claiborne Avenue and other side streets near the university. Their king sat on a commode in the rear of a pickup truck and his "scepter" was a toilet plunger. They have certainly come a long way. The rest of the evening was spent preparing dinner and trying to relax prior to today's major slate of parades I will be announcing at Gallier Hall. I have three to do: Okeanos, Mid City and Thoth. The rescheduled Krewe of Babylon will be sandwiched in between the first and second slot and someone else will have that duty, apparently. Time to don the tux.

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