Fats Domino singing ” I’m-walking-to-New-Orleans”
Every time I hear this song played I have a flash back to the very first time Bourbon Street in New Orleans was told to me. The very first words about the one place you have to go is to Pat O Brien’s and see if you can drink a Hurricane in one of his special glasses which you can keep.
I was in the Air Force an stationed at Kessler Air Force base and on my first weekend first long weekend my drinking buddies said let’s go to New Orleans. I was very excited and could not wait. Remember this was in 1966 on a warm summer evening.
On the way we were all telling about what each of us had learned about the city night life. Everyone was sounding very excited and ready to find out for our selves’.
Finally we were on Canal street which as we were told were some huge trees lining the median and hanging from were these large clumps of moss. They were like what you would see in the scary movies and they were loaded with bugs and some snakes. It was ever so beautiful but at the same time very scary.
In the back ground one could hear ” I’m walking to New Orleans” being played. Finding and all night parking place and just a short walk we were on Bourbon Street. What crowd of people coming and going some a little drunk and hanging on to each other, some riding in open carriages, people were laughing a appeared to be having a wonderful time.
Well you know the very first place we hit was Pat O Brien’s and finding our way to the bar we each ordered the famous Hurricane drink. Boy it was every bit as told to us. now being young we swallowed it down and ordered another. Well that did it the place being so packed we ended out side where it was a little cooler.
But what was so surprising was that when people rode near in the open carriages they were saying hello, its party time and naturally we ask where. The response was follow us. It seemed like a few blocks and turning a few corners we entered this large fenced in patio. There was so many people drinking and laughing we lost site of the carriage we were following. Someone said the bar is over there and the food is on the tables in the back. Everything was free and my buddies and I were taking our fill.
Then there was the French quarter jazz music and yes one song the played and everyone was singing to “Well I’m walking to New Orleans. It seemed like all of a sudden to me after drinking and eating for who how long the daylight was coming over the buildings and the crowd had thinned out. Looking around I found my buddies to were sitting on the cobble stone holding up a tree and the other was leaning as if he were holding up the building. After much work we were all back in the car that’s where we were when the parking lot attendant woke us up and said move along.
Let me say the song brings this all back as if it was yesterday. For the next three years I feel like I have walked to New Orleans and visited each establishment and felt like I was home.
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