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November 22, 2012

TT: Almanac (special Thanksgiving edition)

"The block in New Orleans where I was born was so tough, they done called it 'The Battleground.' One-room shack, outhouse in back, wash in a laundry tub. Use to go through the garbage cans out back of all them fine restaurants, pick through 'em for taters and onions wasn't too spoiled, bring 'em back home to Mayann. But we didn't eat 'em. Oh, no--we dressed 'em. Cut off all the spoiled parts, then I go out and sell 'em to them other restaurants, the ones ain't so fine, bring back a little extra change to go with the coal money.

"Sometimes I go to sleep at night and dream about them garbage cans. Or I dream I'm lying in bed at the Waif's Home, smelling the honeysuckle through the window. I can smell it now, just like I'm there. Wake up and say to myself, what'm I doing sleeping in a suite in the Waldorf? How'd I get so lucky?"

Terry Teachout, Satchmo at the Waldorf

Posted November 22, 2012 12:00 AM

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