big brother · coffee · Janis Joplin · Life · mental illness · New Orleans · travel · vacation

Janis Joplin is alive and well in New Orleans

One week ago today, I was relaxing on the Moon Walk, watching the Old Man laze along.  The Vieux Carre is a lovely little town inside of New Orleans.  My daughter and I had just enjoyed some refreshing iced coffees at Cafe du Monde. It was a rare, perfect afternoon.

The sun was tempered by some clouds and a gentle breeze was creeping from the west.   I suggested that we park ourselves on a bench overlooking the river and just soak in the scenery.   The conversation was perfect.  After all, I raised her, so she agrees with me on most subjects, but she always has more intelligent things to say than her old man.

“Big brother?” interrupted our conversation.  A short, dark-haired woman had stopped at our particular bench.  She eyed my pipe.  “Big brother, you wouldn’t smoke cigarettes, too?  Could I bum a cigarette, if you do?”

“No.  I’m sorry.  Just smoke a pipe.  Can’t be of much help,” was my reply.

“OK.  God bless.”  Dejected, she adjusted the 40 ounce tucked under her arm, wrangled her backpack and moved down river.

I turned to my daughter and said, “Did we just get a blessing from Janis Joplin?”  Jenn immediately caught the reference to Joplin’s band, Big Brother and the Holding Company.  We laughed until I noticed that “Janis,” now 3 benches down river, had smoke trailing behind her matted locks.  She found her precious cigarette.

I know she wanted and/or needed some money.  I’m intelligent enough to know that the cigarette request was a rouse.  I’m also savvy enough to know, if you’re going to panhandle, don’t do it with a 40 ounce under your arm.


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