A Unique Wake for a Unique Person

The City of New Orleans has lost one of its icons.

“Uncle” Lionel Batiste passed away July 8, 2012.

Mr. Batiste, or ” Unc”  as he was affectionately known, was a jazz and blues musician.

A member of the Treme Brass Band, he loved New Orleans

and New Orleans loved him right back.

I won’t write too much about his legacy.

Anyone wanting to know about this marvelous man can find some info here.

When Uncle Lionel was waked, he wasn’t exactly lying in state like most high-profile folks.

Mr. Batiste went out in quite a unique way…

even for a city that thrives on uniqueness.

Mr. Batiste was waked standing up while propped up against a faux street lamp.

musicians paying respect to Uncle Lionel.

Keith Spera of the Times-Picayune wrote:

In a send-off as unique as the man himself, Mr. Batiste wasn’t lying in his cypress casket. Instead, his body was propped against a faux street lamp, standing, decked out in his signature man-about-town finery.

He wore a cream sport coat, beige slacks, tasseled loafers, ornate necktie and matching pocket square, bowler hat and sunglasses. His bass drum and his Treme Brass Band uniform were positioned nearby.

His hands rested atop his omnipresent cane. The gold watch spanning his left palm was his trademark, representing his desire to always have “time on my hands.”

His head was cocked slightly to the left. He appeared ready to step from behind the velvet rope and saunter off to Frenchmen Street, where he reveled in dancing and drinking beer.

“He looks better today than when I saw him the Thursday before he died,” said Storyville Stompers tuba player Woody Penouilh.

“Heaven is agreeing with him.”

Rest In Peace Uncle Lionel.

Or better yet…

give’em one heck of a second line on the other side.



I found this lil “getting to know you” post on Nola Girl’s blog. I thought it would be fun and  decided to give it a whirl.

A. Age: 49

B. Bed size:King
C. Chore you dislike:  Mopping floors
D. Dogs:  A cocker spaniel named Dyson and our rescue dog Happy (not quite sure what he is.)
E. Essential start to your day: A cup of coffee and 30 minutes to myself.
F. Favorite colors: White,Pink and Yellow…I guess I’m a pastel sort of chick.
G. Gold or silver: Silver.
H. Height: I’m short, that’s all ya gotta know…lol…nah, I’ve never had a problem with my height. I’m 5 feet.
I. Instruments you play(ed): Played the flute a looonngg time ago .
J. Job title: Nurse
K. Kids: Ryan and Reyna. Did you notice  y’all got their names for the first time?!
L. Live: New Orleans, LA
M. Mom’s name:  Marrian
N. Nicknames: Ali
O. Overnight hospital stays: Maternity stay.
P. Pet peeves: People who are always trying to change your opinion on a matter…change your own, leave mine alone.
Q. Quote from a movie: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in”
R. Righty or lefty:Lefty
S. Siblings: David, Darryl,Desmond,Damon,Dale and Dereck
T. Time you wake up: 5:00 a.m.
U. Underwear:What about’em?
V. Vegetables you don’t like:Spinach
W. What makes you run late: Waiting on other people.
X. X-rays you’ve had: I was hit by a car when I was 13.   They x-rayed my ankle to see if it was broken.
Y. Yummy food you make: Everything…I can burn.
Z. Zoo animal you like: Hippos
Have a great weekend!!

Warning NOPD: Not My Sons!

The following post was written by FB friend, Atty Tracie Washington. My son has also been harassed by NOPD while walking home from the park after playing a round of basketball (walking while black.)

We ain’t standing for it Chief!


by Tracie Washington on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:32pm

My friends Richard and Hilda McCline needed a couple of guys to help them move boxes from the American Can to storage.  So on Thursday, Jacob picked-up Donald (my No. 3 son) and they worked from a little after 11a until 2p.  On the way home, they stopped at the light at Carrollton and Tulane alongside a marked NOPD vehicle.  When the light changed, both cars proceeded through the intersection and, immediately thereafter the police officers turned on their sirens.  Jacob pulled over.

Jacob and Donald sat perfectly still (as they have been advised OVER AND OVER again), as they watched these officers, clad in those Black swat uniforms, jump out of their vehicle, jerk open the driver’s side and passenger car doors, and begin really gruff interrogations.

License and Registration

Where’s your I.D.?  (Jacob hands over his driver’s license.) 

Why don’t you have identification?  Donald responds that Jacob had just picked him up and because he (Donald) knew he wouldn’t be driving, he didn’t take his license.

Is this your car?  Jacob responds yes, it’s owned by my mom, but it’s my car to drive. 

What are you doing?  Jacob responds that they were doing a job for one of his mom’s friends. 

Where are you coming from? The American Can. 

What kind of job were you doing for these friends?  Jacob tells them about the McCline move to Georgia and them needing assistance with moving the boxes to storage.

You boys in school?  Yes, I attend Grinnell College.  Yes, I attend Millsaps College. (each pointing to their gym shorts with the school names and logos on them; serendipity that they were wearing their college shorts that morning)

The officers looked through the backseat of the car, walked to the back of the car and then to their patrol car, waited about 30 seconds and returned with this “warning” — Just make sure you always wear your seatbelts.

Jacob and Donald had been wearing their seatbelts the entire time!

Everyone in the City of New Orleans knows these NOPD Special Ops Jump-Out Boys spend their days harassing young black men, hoping to pull over someone, open the doors to detect drugs, and then “justify” an illegal search under the guise that they smelled marijuana. 

News Flash NOPD – You illegally stopped the wrong 19 year old.  And because you don’t know whose son you may be stopping illegally, why not just end the illegal stops.  ‘Cause see, when I’m done with these particular jokers, they will wish they had chosen a different profession.  Sarah Pallin could take lessons from this mamma-Grizzly.  Orange is not on my color wheel, but I will wear it proudly if NOPD thugs harm son.  I’m just sayin’ …..

I’m scared every time my son is home from college.  Not because of the New Orleans streets; Jacob knows how to avoid our “normal” thugs.  I’m scared because I can’t tell him to avoid the “badge-wearing” thugs, and in New Orleans they harass and kill Black men with impunity and often without repercussions.

Jacob returns to Grinnell the day after my dad, Dr. Louis X. Washington, Sr., turns 75.  I suppose I should find some comfort in the fact that my dad has survived 75 years of New Orleans.  I don’t.

I’ll sleep well again beginning August 11, 2012.

My sons: No. 1 Jacob (Grinnell); No. 3 Donald (Millsaps); No. 2 Deaunt (Stillman); No. 4 Kyle (Xavier); and No. 5 Kolin (U Southern Mississippi).