We lived in the Big Easy during the 80s and the sojourn was an educational experience more valuable than my diploma from Ole Miss!
I learned to love chickory coffee, so strong the spoon would stand up on its its own. I learned to savor the pungent smell of crawfish boiling in the back yard, “making my groceries” at Schwegman’s, and taking our canoe into the streets after a hard rain.
But our most favorite activity of all, was piling the children into the car on a Sunday afternoon, picking up the Times Picayune, and driving into the “Quarters” to sip French Market coffee and read the newspaper from cover to cover.
Depression and shock set in when the Picayune announced it will reduce its “dead tree” edition to three days a week and let 200 employees go. Established in 1837, the paper is one of the country’s oldest and most reliable newspapers. The death watch has begun on this grand old institution and I’m figuring more papers will follow suit.
Dang the blasted television and internet. Sometimes there is just too much news assaulting us from every direction. Give me a newspaper you get to read for a few precious moments in the morning then retire it to the pile to reuse as liners for the birdcage or mulch in the garden. Out of site, out of mind.
I’m grieving the Picayune and the way of life I once knew. I would have appreciated it more if I had known it had a shelf life.