Episode: Cajun Festival



I’m at the Cajun festival, sitting on a hill under a tree. I’ve been eating my Acadian catfish and potatoes salad, and counting how many people take a photo of the statue across me. I’m too scared to go back to the stage area. I’m happily cool under the tree. But it’s so hot not even the tree can shield me from the devilish sun that creeps up every minute.

A mom and dad take photos of the statue in question. Then two ladies who appear to be sisters. But do they read the inscription on the floor? Then a black lady tries to take a photo of her daughter, but a lady walks in front of them and makes an emphatic apology. “I’m so sorry,” she says. “I’m not even paying attention—I just walked right in front.” The lady was upset at her own aloofness, but then laughed it off.


Image: Cynthia Via [Charles “Buddy” Bolden holding a cornet]

One more black lady joins their photograph procedure. She has beautiful long braids and stands under the cornets attached to the statues’ hands. Some Asian tourists idle around awkwardly, snapping photos from the side, while the black ladies stand next to the statue, taking photos. “Come a little closer,” says the subject since the lady with the camera is far away. The Asian tourists are resigned to wait on the side with impatient faces that say, “Can they hurry?” They check over their photos and decide it passes their test. The mother and daughter say, “thanks” to the lady with braids who took their photo.

After the area is devoid of people, I head over to the three-headed statue and read the inscription. I ask a stranger with a book bag to take a photo of me next to a frozen part of jazz history. I’m the subject. He’s the cameraman.

Charles “Buddy” Bolden, Legendary cornet player is often credited as the earliest jazz musician and band leader. He was one of the first to improvise using black blues and hymn vocal style on a horn.