i was half-tempted just to repost some of my love letters to south louisiana today. mardi gras always makes me miss my gulf-coast homelands. it's the biggest example of why the gulf south, in all its glory and splendor, is so special and important to the character of this nation. it's also radically and vitally different from the non-gulf south, a difference that should be kept in mind at all times. mobile is NOT selma; new orleans is NOT memphis. anywhere the gulf of mexico touches in this country is just... not quite the same.
gulf coast kids have a different way of looking at the world. chris rose got it just so, so right with his world-class introduction to louisiana, and it applies in varying degrees to the rest of the gulf, too. we appreciate our food, our culture, our surroundings. we love life, we drink it in no matter what. we raise our glasses (probably a touch too often) to good and bad. we know that jimmy buffett is smarter than he even realized when he told us, if we couldn't laugh, then we would go insane. changes in latitudes always bring a change in my attitude. in other words, you can tell when i've been home; i come back a little bit more free than i was when i left.
so on this mardi gras day, i celebrate my gulf coast heritage. i got to the home of mardi gras (founded in mobile, alabama, in 1703, a solid century before new orleans!) by accident, by chance, and it's the greatest bit of serendipity imaginable. my gulf coast home gave me so much: friends, culture, azaleas and magnolias (!), crawfish and pralines... and the great love of my life.
laissez les bons temps rouler, chers. ain't no doubt, bebe.