Every so often at a parade I wonder why I bother.  Usually it’s when I see some jackassery from the likes of …

But Wednesday evening I met this guy David from St. Bernard that made going to the parades seem more like a harmonious coming together of the peoples.   I just reached over and shook his hand.  Turns out David, his wife and their friend have some compelling stories to tell about crazy goings-on in St. Bernard Parish.   David’s house, in fact, was demolished by the parish in Dec. 08.  I look forward to getting out there and hearing more of their stories.

David looks like Santa Claus.  He’s also a historical battle re-enactor–our daughter g apparently saw him amongst the actors at the recent Battle of New Orleans re-enactment.

We saw David again the next night and he made good on a promise and gave g a fist-size shard of flint.  Here’s David demonstrating how to make the flint spark:

He said that flint is 65 million years old.  He emailed later:

To make a striker, buy a steel file.  Mark your piece about 4 inches long.  Place it in a vice, and break the file.  Then it will break in a jagged piece so you will need to smooth it with a grinder.  The flat part of the file is called the face.  What you need to do is grind all of the lines off of the edge. Once all of the lines are removed from the edge, then bevel it on each side so that what you are left with is about 1/8th of the edge completely devoid of the file’s cutting teeth.  You now have your steel.  Once you get that done, give me a phone call and I will give you the other 2 ingredients so you can actually start your own fire.

Other 2 ingredients?  I bet he’s got a joke in there …  Thanks, David!

And then Thursday night a few of G’s friends came over to catch Muses, including a woman who got to see her son grand marshal for his school band:

He’s the one with the big smile.  Kind of like her big smile.

Derek Bridges lives in New Orleans, trading in words and pictures. A carpetbagger of long standing, he grew up in the top right corner of IL and later went to college in the middle cornfield part. He has also lived in MS and FL, for educational purposes only, and was diasporized for a time in TX.

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