Friday, December 29, 2017. Wild Day In The Cold. Too much going on. The day began with an extra-early crossing of the bridge and an interview with Newell Normand, the former sheriff of Jefferson Parish. He is now the morning talk show host on WWL radio. He must have done some studying, because he sounds like he had it down. For a change, I was the interviewee, with Newell asking me where I’d recommend dining out on New Year’s Eve, three days hence. I didn’t bring up the matter that, like Dean Martin, I almost never go out on New Year’s Eve, because the restaurants are filled with amateur eaters and (in Dino’s case) drinkers.
However, that question comes up a lot on my own show, so I have enough answers to make it seems as in I know what I’m doing. That takes about an hour, during which Newell and I strike up a rapport.
That done, I try to penetrate the French Quarter for the annual Jesuit Class of 1968 reunion at the Court of Two Sisters. Parking on the Friday between Christmas and New Year’s packs the restaurant to the rafters. That is almost literally true, since we usually have our gathering on the second floor. I get a place to park only by getting on Rampart Street near the old Municipal Auditorium. There I find a small lot that dispenses parking tickets by machine. I’ll remember this for next year.
The usual conversation as to whether the Sazerac cocktail is almost identical to the Old Fashioned breaks out, but not for long. I have a joke to add. Seems that a new waitress approaches a table and asks whether the people sitting there would like a cocktail.
“I’d like an Old Fashioned,” says the patron.
“An old fashioned what?” asks the rookie waitress.
It’s a nice party, with thirty-five people in attendance. Pretty good for a bunch of guys looking ahead to the fiftieth anniversary of our common graduation. Which datum adds up to the fact that we are mostly in out late sixties. One aspect of this I find very distressing, enough that I don’t feel comfortable about bringing it up.
Sitting next to me is Edwin Gros, who was a close friend when we were at St. Rita’s in Harahan. He’s a Jesuit priest now, with extensive accomplishments in Latin American.
I limit my Sazerac intake to one. I send back the osso buco that has become the standard entree at these gatherings. Osso buco gives me the gout, however, so I ask for something else. Which turns out to be a very pretty red snapper with a tasty, creamy white sauce.
The gathering keeps going, but I must depart at two-ish. I go on the air at three. It has been a little to busy for me. And I keep thinking there’s something else I was supposed to have done but have not.