Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Opinion

August 17, 2012

Don Newbury: Where eyes still widen: visiting New Orleans

 

Back in the 1930s, a Lions Club — two hours by train from Dallas — faced a dwindling membership, largely because one of its members was so obsessed with “Big D” that he spoke of little else. Lions grew weary of his ramblings.

Upon learning that the old geezer had never even been 50 miles from home — let alone to Dallas — the Lions decided to pass the plate. They collected enough money to send him on the train to Dallas for a week. Maybe this would either shut him up — or at least provide a slide show in case of a last-minute program cancellation.

———

“How was Dallas?” a member asked. “Don’t know,” the man answered, “I didn’t see it.” 

“Didn’t see it? We sent you up there for a week,” the questioner fumed.

“I know it, but there was just so danged much happening around the depot.”

———

My wife and I hold similar awe for New Orleans, one of the unique cities of the world. It lays claim to all of our senses, defying description, no matter how rambling. Words and pictures provide faint justice.

It is a city that must be seen, heard and felt up close. If New York is a city that never sleeps, New Orleans might be described similarly, albeit dozing from time to time, but always with an eye open. It is a city of toes tapping, jazz bands playing, chefs honing recipes and much, much more.

Ah, the food. There are world-class restaurants in a city where average eateries don’t last long. “The aroma brings us in and the dining brings us back,” one visitor said.

———

One can gather brochures and visit points of interest for weeks, or merely “let life happen” as we did during a recent three-day visit.

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