Thursday, March 22, 2007

Our good, departed friend K. F. was interred in a mausoleum at Metairie Cemetery yesterday.

K was truly in the non-Jewish equivalent of the "lamed-vavniks", one of thirty-six righteous people without whom, it is said in my tradition, the world would come to an end. The thirty-six are not conscious of their status in the world at all, which is one of the many reasons why we thought the minister's eulogy on K's life delved a little too much into "Jesus was K's friend - is he yours? K embraced the son of God - have you?" The man was just a sweet, intelligent, thoroughly caring individual who made friends of all ages for life - and those friends were out in good numbers for his memorial service. He loved playing the trumpet, he loved animals, he gave of himself a great deal to all kinds of organizations, and damn it, he will be sorely missed.

On entering the mausoleum and checking it out, Dan discovered an unusually named neighbor across the way from where K's remains will be : a dear lady named Lillian Rose Pizza Buras. I'm sure Ms Buras and K will have a lot to talk about in the afterlife. Rest in peace, good man.

Later on in the evening, after a lovely meal at a French Quarter restaurant, Dan and I met up with some of his former co-workers from NYC and escorted them through Pat O'Brien's, and, from there, over to Snug Harbor and Irvin Mayfield. Unfortunately, we turned into parental pumpkins and couldn't stay to take in the music. We did have to explain the whole recovery mess to our friends, however, while at the same time extolling the virtues of being able to take one's alcoholic beverage through the streets in a plastic cup, to listen to great music on a regular basis, and to enjoy warm weather in March. God-given rights, I say, but they are coming at a heavy price these days.

I get tired of sharing the bad with the good, especially last night, when I knew that at least one person in the whole group was quite a skeptic. I'm just glad that I could let her and the others know that taking a disaster tour, like they were going to do in the following day or two, was a good thing for them all to be doing, even though I have these moments when I feel like I'm recommending a tour of Auschwitz.

Both tours have the same objective, however: never forget. Sixty-plus years after the Shoah, there are people who do their best to deny that the killing of millions never happened. A year and a half after the levee breaches and the tragedy that affected the Gulf Coast and this city, and our alleged leaders are in a different sort of denial. All it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing. The truth hurts, but I'm all for these folks getting to know the whole city - the WHOLE city, not just the Quarter or uptown. It is only then that they will get a panoramic, Technicolor view of all that they have simply glimpsed through the pinholes of the national media, pundit-steered opinions, and thoroughly biased politicos.

(I guess I've got the Shoah on the brain in part because of the following tidbits of news: the tree that Anne Frank gazed out at from her Secret Annex is being felled, and this - I don't even know how to describe it - it can't be news. It's more like a sad, misguided attempt at revisionist history. Awarding Frank posthumous American citizenship is closing the barn door sixty-plus years after the cows have left. This should have been done during the Shoah - go back in time and do it, idiot.)


oyster said...

My condolences on your friend's passing.

Leigh C. said...

Thank you.

I just hope we can all follow his lead. The man had a great attitude toward life.

MAD said...

Speaking of Anne Frank, if readers have not been to the Frank exhibit at the National WW2 Museum, please go before it is too late. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about Anne Frank, go anyway. It is a powerful, moving exhibit. Very well done and displayed. Kudos to the museum for bring this exhibit to NO.

Cursed Tea said...

I'm sorry to hear of your recent loss. There is a poem by the Scottish poet, Norman MacCaig that we borrowed a line from for my father's grave stone which often gives me comfort:
"You can see his tracks,
Still in the snow of the world."

Thank you for your post on my blog and for giving me pointers!! Your blog is great and has given me lots of things to think over.

I must go and see the Anne Frank memorial - I went to her "house" in Amsterdam when I was 8 and read every last bit of information and was deeply affected by the experience.

I agree that it is vitally important that those who visit this great city , now also take time to see and consider the sad events that happened here.

I'll be visiting more! and linking to you.
Best Wishes

Sophmom said...

Leigh, I'm also sorry for your loss and will keep you and your friend in my thoughts. You were a comfort to me this winter when we were losing Sean and I will always be grateful to all of my virtual friends who were so supportive during that time.

I didn't know about the Ann Frank exhibit. Maybe I can talk my son into going with me before we come home this weekend. I'm also quite certain that you do the right thing when you recommend the disaster tour. I think everyone can pretty much imagine just how bad the worst of it is. We've all seen enough pictures of the Lower 9 by now, but, without driving through it, you cannot possible imagine how vast it is. We, as a nation need as many as possible to understand the scope of the loss.

I'm very excited about this weekend!