i shouldn’t have to work if there’s no mail

I had a super busy weekend, although I wasn’t out late either night and thought I was getting enough sleep. Clearly that is not the case, as I forgot to unlock the front doors at work this morning, and am making crazy spelling errors–instead of “daily calls”, I nearly sent out an email titled “daily spells”. Seasonal!

ANYWAY. Saturday was the fall festival in Denham Springs, a little town across the river from Baton Rouge. I went to the spring festival earlier this year, and it was pretty lamesauce, and this was a nearly exact repeat of that one. But! The real reason to go is that it’s in the town’s “Antiques Village”. The original downtown area is nearly all antique stores: the old bank, the old movie theater, the old boarding house. And they always have sales during the festival.

I mostly bought stuff for other people, but I did add a new camera to the collection: a Kodak Brownie Bull’s-Eye (the earlier black model made from 1954-1958). I don’t really need another 620 camera, but it’s the “younger sibling” of my Kodak Brownie Hawkeye. (The Bull’s-Eye has some differences though, mainly in not being a fixed-focus camera and also taking 8 6×9 cm exposures instead of 12 6×6 cm ones.) I love owning camera “families”; I also have 2 late generation Land Cameras (the Button and the Rainbow), and both the Argus Matchmatic and the Argus C3.


The flash that I got with my Hawkeye works on both models.

And on Sunday it was back to New Orleans to pick up my photos from the push pin show. NOPA sent out an email late last week that was kind of unclear, I thought it was saying that if we didn’t pick our photos up from HomeSpace Gallery on Saturday they would be at the NOPA gallery on Sunday. They had already told us that if we didn’t pick them up by Sunday, they would be thrown out. I wanted to eat brunch at Elizabeth’s, which is in the Bywater, same neighborhood as HomeSpace. I knew they’d have a long wait, so I gave my name, fought my way across the French Quarter traffic to the NOPA gallery in the Lower Garden District… and was told no, they’re still at HomeSpace. They had trouble finding “sitters” for the gallery so I could pick them up at NOPA “later”. Except I couldn’t, because I DON’T LIVE IN NEW ORLEANS. It’s a 2 1/2 hour drive, I can’t just drop by any time I feel like it.

(Side rant: People in Louisiana are very provincial, in that they tend to forget that the place they live in is not the only place that exists. I used to think it was a small town/country thing, but people do it in NOLA all the time. I’m constantly having to remind NOPA members that I don’t live in the city.)

So I go BACK to Elizabeth’s, thinking great, I could have just slept in and saved a bunch of gas. But as I’m eating my strawberry cream cheese stuffed French toast and praline bacon (worth a 2 1/2 drive, truth be told), I decide I might as well check the gallery, since it’s just a few streets away. They were open, I got my photos, much mental eye-rolling ensued. Communication in that group is not crackerjack.

And on this NOLA trip I think I discovered the nexus of the universe: Cypress Grove, Greenwood, Odd Fellows, and the Masonic cemeteries are all at the intersection of Canal and City Park Avenue.

The only way the Slark tombs could be more impressive is if the family had been named Stark. THINK ABOUT IT.

Greenwood may be the largest cemetery I’ve ever been. There are a lot of beautiful monuments in the front, but as you drive in–yes, it’s so big that you can DRIVE AROUND IN IT, IT HAS ITS OWN STREETS–the tombs get newer and start to have a sameness. Still, taken as a whole it’s pretty cool. With the streets and the above-ground tombs that look like tiny houses, it’s easy to see where the phrase “cities of the dead” for NOLA cemeteries comes from.

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