New Orleans' own Al "Carnival Time" Johnson's birthday is today, as well as World Refugee Day, and Al has achieved the ultimate musical coup: his song title in his name. New Orleans has its own set of anthems, with "Carnival Time" as the pinnacle. Al is now an evacuee, (refugee if we take the word at its most literal meaning), among thousands labeled Katricians by Houston's mayor. As nicknames go, that one is lousy. New Orleans is a town of quality nicknames. Griper, Barbecue Dave, Afro, and Rev. Goat.
Rev. Goat's name stands for Go On And Try, and he once nicknamed me Foxy Lady. It involved a stalled car, a white shirt and some ass walking by in a thunderstorm yelling, "Hey, Foxy Lady!" Thankfully it never caught on, although he kept it up for 10 years. Goatey is now displaced at Kinky Friedman's ranch in Austin after staying at Levon Helm's place in Woodstock. A man of many talents, he just finished writing the mystery novel, Shallow Graves.
In 1992, Goat ran for President with the slogan "Vote Goat - We Want Our Money Back." Joe Walsh was his running mate, and 100,000 citizens did vote Goat. His post-hurricane description of the levee failure, quoted by Dr. John, was "New Orleans didn't die a natural death, she was murdered."
Dr. John's MySpace site also says, "I am heartbroken over all of the displaced people from the hurricanes and the NEW ORLEANS disaster. If you wanna help send assistance to the New Orleans Musicians Clinic, New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund, or the Voice of the Wetlands."
The Nite Tripper's continued dedication to New Orleans is a wonder. His blog also includes a link to "Where You At Mule," which I will go out on a limb and describe as the most unique New Orleans music video of all time. Everything about it makes me homesick, especially that hat.
"Where You At Mule"'s answering refrain is: "I tell you I'm coming home." It's something hundreds of thousands of us would love to say before long. So buy a New Orleans evacuee a beverage today - it's our holiday.