It may surprise you to learn that I know Morse Code. I am proficient in English, my native language and I have penmanship that is the envy of many of my contemporaries. In another life, I could have been a scrivener. It’s because I understand Morse Code, though, that I am the newest member of the Black Cat Magic Club. New Orleans is a city of clubs.
NEW ORLEANS BLACK CAT MAGIC CLUB.
Regular readers will remember when the Black Cat Magic Club gave this blog their clubs highest honor for “Best Written Blog in New Orleans.” That was just this past August. Now, four months later, I’ve been given an even higher honor. I’ve been officially indoctrinated and sworn into the Black Cat Magic Club.
New Orleans is a city of clubs and camaraderie. There are social aid and pleasure clubs. There are carnival krewes. There are walking clubs and marching krewes and groups of people who just gather at regular intervals at mutually agreed upon locations at regularly scheduled intervals to enjoy each others’ company. Some of them engage in occult practices and worship the Devil. Some of them get together every week to pray the rosary in good faith. Some of them are book clubs, or sewing circles, or rugby leagues. I like to play shuffleboard, myself. Most of these clubs involve light alcoholic beverages and convivial conversation, mutual bonding, and making connections that will be beneficial for business, for friendship, or for after-working-age retirement. New Orleans is a city of mutual association.
Then, there is the Black Cat Magic Club. I can’t tell you what that’s about. I’ve been sworn to secrecy.
I know a smattering of German, of Italian, and a little bit of French. I am fluent in Atin-lay Ig-pay. Comprende? I also know Morse Code. I had to learn Morse Code when I was enlisted in the U.S. Navy many, many years ago. You can take a sailor out of the Nayv but you can take the Navy out of the man. It’s been 30 years since I was a sailor but I still remember my Morse Code.
NEW ORLEANS IS A CITY OF CLUBS.
I was sitting on our front porch when I heard the beat, beat, beat of the tom-tom from the neighborhood across the street from La Belle Esplanade. Here’s a view of our front porch to set the scene:
The drum kept pounding the same repetitive rhythm. It rang in my brain as if it was meant only for me. I focused and listened more closely. It was meant for me. The drum said:
.__.. .__ __… . .__.. .__.. . . … .__ __. .__.. .__ __. .__ __.. .
I remember my NATO phonetic alphabet, too. It’s been awhile but I used to be in the military. I’m a code talker.
LIMA ALFA [pause] BRAVO ECHO LIMA LIMA ECHO [pause] ECHO SIERRA PAPA LIMA ALFA NOVEMBER ALFA DELTA ECHO.
La Belle Esplanade. La Belle Esplanade. La Belle Esplanade. Over and over.
NEW ORLEANS IS A CITY OF CLUBS.
I heard the message and I answered the call. I followed the drum beat to its point of origin.
After a quick induction ceremony, I became the newest card-carrying member of the New Orleans Black Cat Magic Club. What an honor!
I’m blushing as I write this. I don’t deserve it, but that’s what everyone says. I am honored to be a member. Let’s leave it at that.
If you want to meet the newest member of the New Orleans Black Cat Magic Club, you know where to find me. I’m at the #1 small craft hotel in New Orleans. Read the rest of our website to see what La Belle Esplanade is all about. If you want to experience New Orleans like you belong here, not just as a tourist, there are good reasons why you should stay at La Belle Esplanade. We only have five suites. Only a lucky few can stay here on any given day. We’ll give you the inside intelligence about what makes New Orleans the wonderful city that it is. Get in on the ground floor and spend your day wandering around our very interesting neighborhood. Get off the usual tourist radar.
You have two New Orleans goodwill ambassadors at La Belle Esplanade. i’m one. Frau Schmitt is the better half of this operation.
We look forward to meeting you and sharing our part of the city with you!
–La Belle Esplanade.
Monday, January 7, 2019: Yesterday was the first day of Mardi Gras season. I know you think Mardi Gras is just one day. There is a Mardi Gras Day and that is the most magical day on New Orleans’ calendar, but Mardi Gras is a whole season. We have a long Mardi Gras this year. Mardi Gras Day will be on March 6. Between now and then there will be plenty going on. Use your better intuition and get your good self down here. You’ll have a good time and make plenty of discoveries. If you are bored in New Orleans, you must have a hole in your imagination. You’ll see. There is nowhere so pleasant as New Orleans.
We look forward to meeting you. You can see what we have available in our calendar by clicking here. Get your good self down here and visit New Orleans like you mean it.