I think it pleased everyone that the third day of work began uneventfully and, as far as I know, ended that way. About half of the group went to Tipitina’s to see Citizen Cope and they were understandably bleary-eyed. I started out at the house Carol and Petter’s group was working on. I was surprised to find that it was not in Bywater, but in the Marigny a block off of Frenchmen. Great location, but a house much in need of care. The students were primarily “mudding” and sanding drywall, and “mudding” and sanding drywall, etc., etc.

I worked with them for about an hour and a half, but it was pretty tight quarters and a decided that there was potential for me to be in the way. I went back over to the house in Treme where they were applying coats of paint and ready to start working on the trim, which is something I reasonably accomplished at. At lunch, I took Alli and Lindsey over to the house in the Marigny so that they could have lunch with the rest of their group. We walked over to Washington Park between Frenchmen and Elysian Fields and enjoyed a cool, but sunny picnic.

Lunch over, we rejoined the other group and literally got our hands dirty while painting. We had crews on the roof, on the sides of the house, and on the front porch working on trim. I think everyone really got into the rhythm of things and some found it hard to stop painting and begin cleaning brushes, rollers, containers, stowing ladders, and packing supplies in Julia’s van.

We got back to St. Ray’s, exchanged the day’s stories, and eagerly waited to see what wonderful meal Miss Kathy was preparing for the evening. Clearly, Miss Kathy is not Irish, but everyone enjoyed the pulled pork, mashed potatoes, corn and tossed salad. I took advantage of the groups’ postprandial inertia and sneaked back across the river to get first in line for the showers.

The downtown St. Pat’s Parade was something of a disappointment. They moved the route off of Frenchmen and Bourbon to wider streets. It seems smaller than in previous years and even by New Orleans standards, it seemed halting and disorganized. But, students got kisses from drunken Irishmen and beads, so all was well in the end.

I ended the evening at the Spotted Cat where I caught the end of a set by Loose Marbles and part of the first set of St. Louis Slim and the Feral Cats. I’ve seen Slim play the part of blues man on numerous occasions, so it was interesting to see him front a more “traditional” ensemble. I recognized most of the musicians and they proved my suspicion that their collaboration would be top flight. It was also good to see several of the crew leaders, sans paint-stained clothes, enjoying the post-parade festivities.

Alas, three days of work and limited sleep were taking their toll and I crawled back to my rental car, across the Mississippi River Bridge, and into bed. And for once, while aware of when the remaining students came in, I was able to roll over and catch a few more hours of much-needed sleep.

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