The Family's Annual Mardi Gras Get-together 2008

When I first moved to Louisiana, I remember reading something that said the people down here think that the combination of purple, green and gold is absolutely beautiful. Since it was mid-summer at the time, I was mystified. Not anymore, tho. I know it means; everyone in the area is already in celebration mode for Mardi Gras. Wall-to-wall parades and parties, and just a general atmosphere of carnival revelry.When Cappy is off the boat during Mardi Gras season, which isn't very often, we go to a few parades. We know people who go all day, most every day, from morning til nightfall, attending parades and parties, then get up and do it all over again, until Fat Tuesday aka Mardi Gras, then at the stroke of midnight, collapse in a happy heap, repent and reflect during the Lenten Season, and pretty much lay in wait til next year's frivolities begin, or til the family BBQ or any 'happening' to celebrate life with family and friends.Years ago Cappy's Grandmother and Aunt Gussie started their annual family Mardi Gras get-together in Lafayette, LA. It didn't take long for the rest of the family to catch on and join in the fun. "MawMaw" (Cappy's Grandmother) passed, and is now celebrating her parties with The Lord, since last year, and alas, this year, her daughter, our sweet Aunt Gussie wasn't feeling well, so she wasn't able to attend. Even though we just saw her a scant while ago, I missed her dearly yesterday when I went to Lafayette for the family BBQ and party. In her honor, I took way too many pictures. Still photos and video. Cappy admonished me several times, not to wave the camera around from person to person while taping, because he absolutely cannot stand to watch videos that blur from person to person, or all over the place, on the way to another person. It was my first real outing with my new video HD camera, and I was so 'psyched' to tape lots of shots. I got a lot of still pictures with my regular camera, as usual, but during the parade, I wanted to make sure to get videos of all the floats. Dang, in all the hub-bub, I forgot to take still photos of said floats and bead tossers, who were riding the floats. New habits die hard, too. Bead catching is new to this Yankee/Cajun. Watching the Mardi Gras parades on television from New York State was always a curiosity, akin to disdain for me. Hmmph. How could anyone get so excited about catching tacky plastic beads...and fight over them?? Well...I dunno what happened, but I well remember my first night-time parade over there in Lafayette. I found myself screaming, "Throw me somethin', Mister!!!" along with everybody else, and clawing and flailing after the shiney 'jewelry' which was sailing through the air in my direction. (Sheesh, you woulda thunk they were real diamonds or pearls.) I even got into minor skirmishes over 'loot' that was definitely MINE that somebody else grabbed. Tug of war's will only lead to a broken, good fer nuthin' string, with sad little beads, dangling from your paw. Well, I learned that anyhow.

Now...yesterday at the Children's Parade, I whipped out my video camera and began 'shooting' the floats. The crowd around me were jostling against me, waving their arms and hands, yelling for beads and trinkets, like plastic cups or doubloons (special colored coins, usually stamped with the special occasion and year on them). When the kids on the floats threw beads at my camera, and I instinctively started grabbing them, all thoughts of Cappy having to witness blurry films ran off with MY beads somebody else had the NERVE to take. Oh yeah?? I started grabbing for every set of beads hurtling my way, bending down and clawing them off the ground, lest some 50 year old 'brat' next to me got 'em first. All bets were off...but then I'd remember I was a responsible adult here, and begin video-taping the kiddoes on the floats again, with all the gorgeous pagentry. Til another set of beads or a cup came right to me! I hadda get down there, stick my hand through the barricade and grab MY prizes...thrown directly to ME,... after all. If I got into one particularly 'friendly' dispute, where I 'won'...the next batch, I'd give to the 'offended' party, to kinda/sorta make up for the last round. I guess that's the way it's done. Well, anyhow, I managed to plaster six long minutes worth of still pictures onto the Blogger Video thingy above, with some Cajun music also. I don't know how long it will be before I can tackle the 'video's' I took...editing will probably lop off most of what I taped. Since I haven't begun to learn about that process yet, guess who will be stuck sitting here in this chair sometime next week, suffering through an hour or so, of blurry visions of pavement, metal barricade closeups, someone's shoes, broken beads strewn on the ground and an occasional purple, green and gold float smear by at an hundred miles an hour?

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