Back to New Orleans.
de facto Lenten hiatus has effectively also become an Easter vacation, with this post being the first since Easter Sunday itself. As a very partial explanation for my absence, this post recalls a trip taken exactly one month ago, soon after the end of the academic term in Toronto. My friend Matt and I spent a week driving from New Orleans to Savannah, with a particular but nonexclusive focus on sites related to three Southern Catholic literary figures: Flannery O'Connor, John Kennedy Toole, and Walker Percy. Matt and I had both been to New Orleans in the past - as some readers will recall, I went there in 2011 and again in 2012 - but we agreed that it was time to return to the Crescent City; after my third visit there, I can't wait to go back.
Holy Name of Jesus Church, on the campus of Loyola University New Orleans. Among other things, Holy Name of Jesus is notable as the venue for the March 1969 funeral of Judge Leander Perez, who was famously excommunicated by New Orleans Archbishop Joseph Rummel in April 1962 for his public efforts to thwart the Archbishop's plan to desegregate New Orleans parochial schools; Perez was quietly reconciled to the Church before his death, but I'm told that the decision to have his funeral at Holy Name of Jesus still raised some eyebrows at the time. Fitting the theme of our trip, Holy Name of Jesus also has significant literary associations: it was the home parish of John Kennedy Toole, author of A Confederacy of Dunces, and it was also the place where Walker Percy and his wife were received into the Catholic Church in 1947.
Speaking of Walker Percy, the Maple Street Book Shop a few blocks west of Loyola was a favored haunt of his; as a sign of his affection for the place, the generally shy and publicity-averse Percy would willingly attend signings at this shop even as he refused to participate in similar events elsewhere.
Confederate Memorial Hall (est. 1891) sits next door to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art (est. 2003), and we visited the two places one after the other.
the object may actually have been produced by Davis' wife Varina.
John McCrady, including The Parade (1950), which depicts the artist himself at lower left working in his study as a Mardi Gras float featuring giant watermelons passes by outside.
Grace Episcopal Church closed its doors in January 2012, and I've been unable to determine the fate of McCrady's murals.
Clementine Hunter (1886-1988). Hunter grew up on a plantation in northwest Louisiana, never learned to read or write, and was entirely self-taught as an artist. Panorama of Baptism on Cane River (1945) is representative of the work Hunter produced over the course of a long career devoted to documenting the rural culture of her youth.
The Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, dedicated in 1794 and reportedly the oldest cathedral in continuous use in the United States.
courtbouillon served at Tableau just off Jackson Square.
Preservation Hall, a venue for traditional New Orleans jazz since 1961 - nothing innovative, but old standards performed with great gusto.
Later in the week, I should have some more photos from the Southern trip posted. In the meantime, best wishes to all, particularly those celebrating the Memorial Day holiday in the United States. AMDG.