New Orleans

We radiate beauty and grace in our food, in our music, in our architecture, in our joy of life, in our celebration of death; in everything that we do. We gave the world this funky thing called jazz; the most uniquely American art form that is developed across the ages from different cultures.

Think about second lines, think about Mardi Gras, think about muffaletta, think about the Saints, gumbo, red beans and rice. By God, just think. All we hold dear is created by throwing everything in the pot; creating, producing something better; everything a product of our historic diversity.

From New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Address on Removal of Four Confederate Statues

Wray, CO Tornado

There’s some amazing footage out there of the May 7, 2016 tornado near Wray, Colorado. I suspect the video does not do it justice, and, without documentation, trying to describe that kind of power to someone would quickly get mystical.

As the North American plains have always been Tornado Alley, I was curious what native stories and legends there might be. This page collects a few sources. From a Kiowa account by Iseeo:

Suddenly, the leader of the party shouted for the men to dismount and prepare for a hard rain. Soon, too, with the approaching cloud, lseeo recalled hearing a -roar that sounded like buffalo in the rutting season. Sloping down from the cloud a sleeve appeared, its center red; from this lightning shot out. The tremendous funnel tore through the timber bordering the Washita. heaving trees into the air.
Some of the young men wanted to run away, but the older, more experienced Kiowas knew what must be done. They called for everyone to try hard and brace themselves. The elders drew their pipes from saddlebags and lit them. They raised their pipes to the storm spirit, entreating it to smoke, and to go around them. The cloud heard their prayers, Iseeo explained, and passed by.

The whole article is fascinating.

Woody and Lead Belly

YuspeF2

“Back in the early 30s, Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly were musical cronies at all the New York folk-song parties of that day – and the guitar picking population of New York at that time consisted of about ten people, if you can believe it – Lead Belly and Woody were the stars and usually after all of us had decided to go to bed, Woody would go home with Lead Belly and they’d sit up and play until morning.”
Alan Lomax