Happy Birthday Brother #5

Brother # 5  is celebrating his birthday and for me this always takes on a special meaning.  Even though I love all of my brothers, this one here has over come some serious stuff.  See,when this one here was in his teens, he was in the game…hard and heavy.  I used to say that he had nine lives because, he was shot at on more than one occasion, one of those times New Orleans finest shot at him, and got him in the leg.  He paid in debt to society(we all know what THAT means.)  And at the ripe old age of…20(that’s old in gang-banging years) he had decided that, he didn’t want to go to jail anymore.

Now, anyone who knows anything about that sort of decision knows that…it’s easy to say, hard to do.  When you are 20 and all of your friends are still doing the things that kept putting you behind bars, when it’s hard to get a job because you have a record…it’s just not that easy.

But, he did it.

I know it must have been hard as hell, not hanging with his friends anymore.  A few of them of course, tried him and when they found out that, he wasn’t living that life anymore…they moved on.

But, he made new friends.

Friends who were not into the street life.

He had a family who loved him and never gave up on him…I’m sure that helped.

He knew he was never alone because, they would visit him in jail and even bring his son to see him.

My parents never condoned what he did but, they weren’t about to give up on their child either.

He learned a few skills in jail and when he was released, someone eventually took a chance on him and gave him a job.  He worked there(he was always talented with his hands) and never looked back.

He went to night school and got his GED.

He married and has a beautiful daughter that he dotes on, and a son that looks way too much like him..lol

He recently went to NURSING SCHOOL  AND IS PREPARING TO TAKE HIS BOARDS!  (sorry, I had to yell that out.)

It’s been 18 years and he has been a model citizen…I am glad that he was able to vote in the presidential election.  When I called him and asked if he was able to vote he said, he was the first person at the poll.  That’s my boy!

I am so proud of him that, I could never express just how much if I lived a thousand years.

See, I know all of my brothers extremely well.  So well that, I had my own personal nicknames for them when we were all growing up.

This brother here was my “sweet brother.”

When I wanted something to eat like pancakes but, didn’t feel like fixing them…he would make them for me.  He would do anything  for me and you wouldn’t hear a fuss out of him.

And he’s 9 years younger than me.

He’s still sweet to this very day.

His journey is a testimony to so many young brothers who think they can’t get out of that life.

He’s able to reach his son, our nephews, and other young black men because…he’s walked the walk.

So, Happy Birthday Brother #5….I am so proud to call you my brother but, more than that…

I’m blessed to have you as my friend.

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We Interrupt This Blog For A Very Important Message…..

WHO DAT BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can’t even begin to explain how proud this state is of our New Orleans Saints…and the party has been on full blast since last night!

It is crazy here!

You can’t find a newspaper anywhere (unless you go to The Times-Picayune building).  I tried to get a newspaper this morning at Rouses Supermarket…no luck.

I went to the Picayune building and got in the long line and people were buying bundles…not two, three papers…bundles!

Hell, I got jealous…I was only going to buy 4….I got 15!

School’s shut down for my kids…no school today.

Teacher’s  drunk…

Cafeteria workers drunk…

Errybody drunk here…

How ya gonna have school?

No, I’m just kidding they aren’t drunk 😉

And the party has not eemuch started here because, Mardi Gras is in full effect right nah!

But for me, the best part of all of this is…..

MY BABY BROTHER IS COMING TO TOWN TO PARTY FROM WASHINGTON!!!!!!

I am so excited that  imma have to take*cough* a break *cough* from work *cough, cough*

I’m beginning not to feel so well…

I’m feeling sick yall…

Imma need some bed rest I think…for about 24-48 hours.

I wonder if I have that virus that’s going around…

I better take care of myself…

don’t want to be spreading any bugs to anyone so,

I’m going  to lie down and get  me some bedrest….for about 48hrs…

WHO DAT BABY!

Mardi Gras Etiquette

Well, it’s officially Mardi Gras time…the big parades roll in the city starting this weekend.  I think they actually start Friday evening…not quite sure.

I’ve decided that, since people keep asking me mardi gras questions and I have a lot of  transplants(non-born and raised Nawlins folks) who pass through here and read this blog; to give a few pointers to those who plan on visiting for Mardi Grass…yep, I said grass.

I know it looks all discombobulated and all but, believe it or not, there are some real rules to Mardi Gras that most visitors just don’t get so here they are.

Here’s the most important one…the one that will stop you from getting into a fight.

1.  If a rider on a float makes eye contact with you, points at you and says, “here catch”….that don’t make it, YOUR THOW.  If I get it before you…it’s mine.

In fact, that’s my job…to get it before you do.  Most visitors miss this point and think we are going to just stand there so they can catch the bead or whatever…..NOT!  We will straight jack it right outta ya hand if you ain’t holding on to it tight enough.

Don’t get offended…it’s Mardi Gras.  If you can’t stand the heat…you know the rest.

2.Please, please, please.!  Don’t cross the street while the bands are moving.  Wait until the band has passed and then cross.  That’s our babies playing those instruments, they can get hurt if you bump them while they are playing.  But more importantly for you….YOU don’t want to get hurt.

The chaperones here mean business and will lasso your ass if you even attempt to cross  through the band lines…I know…I was a chaperone for many years….I could hook you and throw you back into the crowds faster than you can say…WHO DAT!

3.  When you see the bands coming, push back…people here get that and don’t need to be told.  Ya can’t stand in the street when the bands are coming..only for the floats.  The chaperones will push you back if you don’t move on your own.

St. Aug don’t need no chaperones…everyone here already knows that, Aug don’t break their lines for no one so, if you don’t want to get hit….move back.  You’ll get a warning from the color guards after that…be prepared for those mallets to hit you upside the head.

4.Natives are real accommodating to children who can’t see because they are too far back.  So if you see me telling a bunch of kids they can stand in front of me…that’s what we do…  and race don’t matter much. I’ve had a bunch of white people take my kids to the front of the crowd so they could see and vice versa.

5. Natives are NOT accommodating to grown folks who cross the street and then stand in front of them so they can all of a sudden be in the front of the crowd.  Do not do this…cross the street and keep moving. That is, if you don’t want beer poured over your head from the dad who is standing on a ladder looking down watching everything.

Besides, natives and other folks have been out there all day(for Endymion…three days) babysitting “their spot” and now here you come all willy-nilly trying to move in it….it ain’t gonna happen.  They gon make you move bruh.

6.  If you are trying to catch d0ubloons(that’s the coins they throw)….don’t reach down with your hand!!

We will step on it!!!!!!

No offense but, everyone here was raised that way.  When they throw doubloons from the floats…YOU STOMP the doubloon  first, wait until the crowd eases up a bit and then bend down and pick it up.

7. No one owns the neutral ground…that’s the median to other folks.  That’s why it’s called “neutral ground” here.  People always ask how can they buy a spot on the median…ya can’t.  First come, first serve basis…find a spot…stake your claim…and there ya go.

8. Happy Mardi Gras is an actual greeting here…it’s like saying Merry Christmas to everyone…use it and you’ll begin to blend in.

9. Yeah, we eat heavy meals like ribs, jambalaya, beans, chicken, burgers,crawfish,etc. at 7am…it’s mardi gras.

Popeyes start selling chicken at like 4am on Mardi Gras Day…go get some!

10.We don’t do that “show your tits” thing on the parade route…that’s where the families are.  Go to the Quarters with the rest of the perv’s if that’s your intent.  We have kids out here on the route…out here, we’re grilling, boiling, eating and having fun.  No one cares about your girls….

I am sure I forgot some…natives, let me know which and I’ll be sure to post.

Other than that, chill out and enjoy Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras 2010 will be extra special that’s for sure!