Prologue to a Saturday Post

Saturday I will post a nostalgic piece about my years living in the Vieux Carré of New Orleans.  Full time actress, part time day job (gotta pay the rent) radio and TV talent.  Hookers, mob bosses, millionaires all supporting our live theatre productions. Rehearsing in the cellar of the Performing Arts Building, where little beady red eyes watched from the shadows.   So we will start with a little poetry to wet your curiosity:

New.Orl.Mist.Adieux My Beauty  ©

Standing outside the gate,
eager to say goodbye, remembering
all the reasons to say hello

New Orleans, that witchy woman, whose song is
loved and never forgotten, whose taste
lingers on the tongue forever.
Where love bloomed on a rain slick night

Now, as I bend to kiss the powdered, rouged
cheek, my nostrils are assailed by
the sweet odor of rotting flesh eaten
away in the darkest recesses by a decadent,
self indulgent cancer

I don’t love her, this grand old dame, any less for the rot. We
both know she is dying. It will be the last time I kiss her.
I love her so but to stay means to be infected by the rot

So, I bid you adieux my beauty,
my elegant, old, painted whore.

Trisha Sugarek

Haircuts…….2 bits ©

docksFreighters struggled through the mouth of the Mighty Miss-a-sip fighting to escape the jaws of the Gulf, and like a birth, exploded into the river as the ole’ man rushed out to sea. The huge ships having conquered oceans far and wide, they struggle through the breach. Grander ships sweep down the Mississippi, much as a matronly lady would glide along the promenade, oblivious to all.

The ships are piloted to the wayside amidst the cries of seamen from a hundred lands. The year is 1934 and the story is of a barber named Marcel Guerman. A barber, yes, but also an international cellist. To make his passage he pawned his bow; a work of art with a turquoise and mother of pearl inlaid handle. The sacrifice might seem paltry but one might ask the question….how can a musician play every day without a bow? To reclaim his prize, Marcel set up a simple stand, laid out his scissors, hot water, towels and dusted off the straight back chair. His simple placard read: “Hair cut– Two Bits”.

barberAfter many months at sea his business was brisk. Deck hands, mess attendants, mechanics, engineers, officers all stopped by Marcel’s for a dockside hair cut.  Most customers took him at face value. Little did they realize that the hands that so carefully cut their hair were the hands of a virtuoso cellist. An international man, born in Paris in 1897, he studied at a famous music conservatory in Brussels.

His enemies called him a bum, a gambler, a misfit and a rebel. Marcel fit in comfortably in this city of nér’ do wells. Did Marcel actually need the money earned by cutting hair? Many said he did if the market was doing badly that week. Marcel was indeed a gambler. One week Marcel would be on foot, hauling his table and chair to the docks. The next week he would be driving down the streets of the Vieux Carre in a new Cadillac convertible. Marcel had taken the front passenger seat out so that his cello could ride beside him.

Marcel did not need to give the sailors hair cuts to pay the rent. He did need to be near the mighty ships, the men who served on them, the sights, sounds, and smells of the river. The freighters were the symbol of Marcel’s freedom; of new beginnings for himself and his music.

As the years passed, Marcel traveled across this land, playing in many orchestras. But, he always returned to New Orleans. What kept calling him back? Was it the city, a tired, rouge stained whore of a city or was it the docks, the majestic Mississippi River and her water traffic that beckoned him back time and again? The symphony of a great city and her river.

Note: Based upon a true story and supported by documents found in an attic of a house on Camp Street, in New Orleans, in 1979.   Trisha Sugarek

Come back Saturday, Nov. 1st for more about my years in New Orleans!


In addition to my twice weekly blog I also feature an interview with another author once a month. So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!    Ann Gracie will be my November author.

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One thought on “Prologue to a Saturday Post”

  1. I had no idea you had such strong ties to New Orleans. I lived there when I was a baby and have been back few times on business. i even found the apartments where my parents lived during WW II. Only hurricanes can take down buildings there, everything else prevails. Strong magic.

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