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…I would be celebrating Uncle Lionel’s effervescence…right in the midst of the spectacular Second Line to be held in his honor this evening.

Words escape me when I try to define Uncle Lionel, who used his big bass drum as a floatation device when the levees broke in 2005.

Beautiful Ambassador comes to mind, as seen in this Pearl Jam video, so completely worth watching: http://vimeo.com/19421235

Or the story about how that life-saving bass drum was stolen one night as told in Varmint, written by Charlotte, one of my favorite New Orleans poets.

Even though words escape me,  I think this simple quote does justice to the man who was such a beautiful ambassador for the city that stole my heart 33 years ago:

“Inside Uncle Lionel’s bass drum is the pulse of the city.” ~Drummer, Herman LeBeaux

When I grow up, I want to be just like Uncle Lionel, who danced through this life with a big bass drum (or a sassy umbrella) and offered kindness every chance he got.

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