6.22.2010

Deadliest Catch Captain Phil Harris' Jazz Funeral in New Orleans

One of our favorite shows is Deadliest Catch. Even tho' the boat life that we see on this program is entirely different than Cappy's, still, he feels a kinship toward the men on these ships. They spend a lot of time away from home and their families, and it's not inconceivable that often,their lives might be in danger.
Watching the Deadliest Catch, we found ourselves liking, among others, the boat captain on the Cornelia Marie, Captain Phil Harris. He had his two sons, Josh and Jake on the crab-fishing boat with him, and thus, we got to see some fascinating relationship interplay with this group of men. It broke our hearts when last February, Captain Phil passed away.
Much to our shock and delight, we learned from the Deadliest Catch Forum, that Phil's Jazz funeral would be held in New Orleans! How could we not go, since Cappy was off the boat. We got up early on Wednesday, June 9, and headed for the French Quarter. It was beautiful, but typically HOT and sweaty. We walked along Frenchman Street til' we got to Phil's old hangout, the Blue Nile, where there was a lot of camera equipment set up, camera people, and throngs of fans like us. Then among the crowd, we began to spot members of the show's boat crew members wandering around visiting with folks. I was busy taking photos and videos...I kept being jostled, so forgive the shaky video that follows.
One of the members of the crew on the Northwestern, Edgar, walked up to Cappy and struck up a conversation. What a nice guy he is! We were strolling down the street with him toward where the parade/funeral procession would begin, so I asked him how it felt when they are out in the wide open ocean working hard, in solitude, then to come here to all this attention. He said, "Naw, we know we are great", to which we all laughed, then he continued, "No really, whenever we go back into port, everybody gathers all around us like this, so we know we must be kinda special"....but you know, he wasn't saying that in a boastful way, but almost humbled. He also said that no matter where they go, the conversation always ends up being about crabs, at which point one of the movie directors told him that he needed to get back to his group. At another point, he came back and had a nice visit with Cappy, who told him that if it wasn't for Coast Guard regulations,...the fact that he (Cappy) was shipping out the next day and could be tested for alcohol consumption, that he'd stay and have a beer with him. To which Edgar responded, "DANG!" or a sailor word to that equivilent. Oh, I tell ya, after the parade, Cappy was SORE tempted to go into the Blue Nile, where the boat crews were gathering, but he thought he'd better not. So, we came home, loaded with photos, videos and a better feeling, knowing that Ol' Phil had a wonderful send off. The rather lengthy video is over on youtube, fraught with flaws, and maybe a bit too long, but if you watch the whole thing, you may feel as though you were a part of Phil's Jazz Celebration, too. (There were a lot of professional people there and one of them quickly interviewed Cappy, so you might see him on the show...if not the little interview, then most likely in the crowd.) ...And now that we've met these men in the flesh, we are going to be worrying and praying a LOT for these guys out on the DEADLIEST Catch.
Try this link and you'll see the video of Phil's Jazz Funeral at the top of the list of all our other videos. http://www.youtube.com/user/cappyandpegody#g/u
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