Mayfield and Markham Plead Not Guilty in Federal Court!

•January 5, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I’ve already stated that Irvin Mayfield, the celebrated and not so celebrated New Orleans trumpeter, along with his co-defendant Ronald Markham will serve time (that’s my opinion), and his plea of not guilty isn’t going to stand up in court. Markham and Mayfield were indicted December 14 in New Orleans.

            Ronald Markham

Irvin is a Grammy winner and has pleaded poverty in court, even though he has earned millions of dollars in the last decade as his career matured. Mayfield and Markham are charged with one count of conspiracy, 11 counts of money laundering and aiding/abetting, 4 counts of wire fraud, one count of obstruction of justice. Mayfield is facing one charge alone, a solitary mail fraud charge.

Magistrate Judge Daniel Knowles mentioned that both men had no legal records, so he offered an unsecured appearance bail of $25,000 each.  Both defendants won’t have to put up money for bail unless a court appearance is missed.

Mayfield is accused of stealing $1.4 million from the Library Foundation. Both men served on the board from 2011 to 2013. Irvin had been building his stellar reputation for well over a decade. Former mayor Ray Nagin gave $1.4 million in grant money to Mayfield for his Jazz Orchestra. After Nagin left office, this revenue source dried up, leaving Mayfield short over a million dollars. This is when the Library Foundation funds went missing.

Mayfield and Markham are accused of making up board minutes after stealing the Library funds to erase the theft. That is called covering up a crime. Among the perks paid for with stolen funds are trips to Harrah’s casino, a gold plated trumpet for Mayfield, and rooms at the Ritz Carlton and Park Central hotels.

Mayfield won a Grammy in 2009 for best large jazz ensemble. As he is pleaded poverty in court this week (after earning millions), he was appointed a seasoned public defender, Claude Kelly. Markham is represented by attorney Sara Johnson.

                                  New Orleans’ Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield

The trumpeter is claiming he earns only $800/month, and that his bills amount to more than that.  I sincerely believe that Mayfield is currently earning way more than $800/month.  Mayfield’s lifestyle is an expensive one.

Kelly filed a motion to dismiss, due to the alleged leaks.  He says he has evidence pointing towards the U.S. Attorney’s Office as the leakers of grand jury testimony. This ploy occasionally works, but I doubt it will here. The prosecution’s case appears to be quite strong.

Advertisements

Irvin Mayfield is Indicted!

•December 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

How the mighty have fallen! What a wonderful crooked pair Irvin Mayfield and Ray Nagin make. That’s a dream pairing if I ever heard of one. One is in jail and the other will be there soon.  Nagin made Mayfield New Orleans’ cultural ambassador, and Nagin paid Mayfield’s New Orleans Jazz Orchestra  $1.6 million over two years. That’s a lot of misdirected cheddar. I don’t see how Irvin can keep out of jail as he stole big bucks from the people of New Orleans. Ray is currently serving his 10 year sentence for corruption.

Mayfield is a talented man who lost his big revenue source and resorted to stealing. Where was his moral compass?  Nowhere in sight.

New Orleans’ Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield in Happier Days

The indictments make the argument that Markham made – that the funds went to pay for the brand new New Orleans Jazz Market in central city- completely false. The indictment accused Mayfield and Markham of conspiracy; four counts of wire fraud; a money laundering conspiracy; an obstruction count for allegedly falsifying Library Foundation board minutes; and 11 counts of money laundering.

They are linked again in the fraud indictment handed down this week. Mayfield’s ethics began to change when mayor Mitch Landrieu took office. The $1.6 million vanished with Landrieu in charge. The indictment mentions Mayfield and fellow library foundation board member Ronald Markham, a long term friend of Mayfield and co-defendant.

His jazz orchestra was losing a lot of money, probably due to bad management.  He needed an influx of cash fast. It didn’t take Mayfield long to start moving money from the library’s coffers to his own- he made 17 money transfers. That is really cold. To rip off the library board? Really doesn’t speak well of Mayfield as a man with good judgement.

Some of bills Mayfield paid with the stolen funds are- a $20,000 shopping trip at Saks Fifth Avenue; $2,000 visit to Harrah’s Casino; stays in fancy high priced New York City hotels; and $64,000 for a Mayfield produced show at one of the best known halls anywhere, New York’s Carnegie Hall; and $20,000 for Mayfield Productions.

ELIOT KAMENITZ / THE TIMES PICAYUNE
Edouard Quatrevaux, Inspector General for the City of New Orleans, Tuesday, November 10, 2009 .

Several more illegal acts were saved for the cover up. Mayfield made false statements to auditors; submitted phony board meeting minutes; and made false statements in memos to other board members.

Mayfield faces another charge, this time an added mail fraud count for taking delivery of a 24 karat, gold-plated trumpet, supposedly paid for with $15,000 in Library Foundation funds routed through the Youth Rescue Initiative.

Nagin did all he could to aid Mayfield’s career. In 2009, Nagin attempted to give Mayfield a no-bid contract to redevelop the still trashed Municipal Auditorium after Hurricane Katrina, but the deal was killed by Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux after he called the deal improper.

 

Louisiana’s Debtors Prison Found to be Unconstitutional!

•December 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

It’s 2017, and we would hope that debtors prisons would have been abolished around the world, but here at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, that’s not so. U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance has stated, So long as the judges control and heavily rely on fines and fees revenue…the judges’ adjudication of plaintiffs’ ability to pay those fines and fees offends due process.  This is a landmark ruling, way overdue.

This court case began 2 years ago when a few New Orleanians were jailed after failing to pay fines imposed for criminal convictions. Other plaintiffs were jailed for days or longer without ever receiving a hearing on their ability to pay. The stage is set to possibly end the “user pays” system that New Orleans utilizes to fund its criminal courts.

This would leave a large hole in the Criminal Court operating budget. Without an immediate influx of cash, that hole could become unmanageable quickly.

Roughly $1 million/year is spent by Criminal District Court judges that comes from fines and fees that are foisted upon those found guilty to round out their budget. Most of these defendants are too poor to hire an attorney, relying instead upon the overworked public defenders.

The judges can appeal the ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. What is under attack here is the method of payment that has been in place for decades. The judges may have to before the City Council or legislature for some funding.

                                                                             U.S. District Judge Sara Vance

According to Vance, This conflict of interest exists by no fault of the judges themselves. It is the unfortunate result of the financing structure, established by governing law, that forces the judges to generate revenue from the criminal defendants they sentence.

Understandably, the judges would like to see this lawsuit go away. But they have not done enough to show institutional change, he said.  He also said the judges’ corrective efforts are so riddled with exceptions and omissions as to cast doubt on the sincerity of their actions. 

Alec Karakatsanis, the executive director of Civil Rights Corps, a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit law firm which helped file the landmark suit says, It’s a monumental ruling.  For so long, the court system’s been operating in New Orleans in violation of the most basic principles of justice and human dignity.

 

 

 

State Police Cheating the Public? Say it isn’t so!

•December 14, 2017 • Leave a Comment

It is so, with some all around horrible behavior by former Louisiana’s top cop, and it all begins with former State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson, who retired in 2017 amid a whirlwind of controversy which has grown since his retirement. Edmonson enjoyed a very good reputation as a Superintendent before his rather precipitous fall from grace.

Edmonson was top cop for nine years but retired after four of his top officers took an inappropriate trip to California to watch Edmonson receive a national award. One of the officers took his wife with Edmonson’s permission. They took a side trip to Las Vegas, also on the taxpayer’s dime.  Edmonson is big legal trouble, and his lawyer is going to do well here.

There is lots more corruption attributed to Mr. Edmonson and his wife.  State auditors recently discovered the Edmonsons were using trustees to walk the family dog and clean their house for them. He charged the state for a shoe closet built for Mrs Edmonson as well as electricity, internet service, flowers and cleaning supplies for his family.  Apparently, Edmonson has been living with his brood the past nine years in the State Police compound rent-free. That is the definition of brazen public corruption. The approximate bill for nine years of free housing? $430,000. Edmonson also neglected to inform the IRS about this income.

Without counting overtime or the officer’s regular salaries, the conference cost the State Police at least $33,000 for airfare, meals, lodging, registration fees and other expenses, according to a review by The Advocate of more than 200 pages of receipts and travel statements.

                                                                                                         Mike Edmonson

Others in Edmonson’s inside circle have been living in VIP housing at State Police training facilities at no charge for months at a time. Other troopers took advantage of the free services Edmonson was enjoying. Edmonson’s chief of staff, Charles Dupuy, told state investigators he stayed at the Training Academy while going through a divorce. 

Edmonson utilized his state credit card to pay thousands of dollars in questionable restaurant bills. He enjoyed many meals at the department cafeteria over years of service without paying, while regular officers were paying for everything on their trays. He also got troopers to ferry him and his wife around Louisiana.  His vehicles were worked on at the department’s Fleet Operations center.

I’ll say it again, Edmonson was a very all inclusive bad employee. If there was a state service Edmonson could take advantage of, he did his absolute best to do so. He is one corrupt felon to be.

I find it interesting that Edmonson has responded to all this criticism by stating he takes umbrage with all.  These are strong criticisms that stand the test of time.

Should OPP Have a Cap on the Number of Prisoners?

•December 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Yes, there should be an absolute ceiling as to the number of inmates in Gusman’s cages at one time. Deaths within the jail have spiked again, giving Gusman’s critics a big hole once more to criticize Marlin.  2 inmates died separately in November, both deaths occurred with no explanation. One perished in the satellite Temporary Detention Center and the other at the main Orleans Justice Center.

A 27 year old inmate died last month at the Detention Center.  His death is unexplained. Limiting the number of overall prisoners would be a big step forward. Jefferson Parish already has this policy on the books. What’s up with ‘unexplained’  or ‘no explanation’ excuses? There are cameras all over most jails today, and Gusman and his staff are saying these 3 deaths occurred in some camera dead zone? That is extremely hard to believe.

                                                                             Overcrowded Jail in Argentina

As of yesterday, 1,107 prisoners were locked up in the Orleans Justice Center. while the legal capacity is listed for 1,438 beds, however in actuality the facility’s capacity is far lower.

The Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition is leading the charge for an OPP prisoner limit. When that limit is surpassed, mostly misdemeanor prisoners would be released in equal numbers, to maintain the prisoner limit. The Coalition wants the City Council to pass this limit. The Coalition pinned the blame on Gusman for illegally housing hundreds of inmates in a temporary facility. The sheriff claims he has a special permit from the City Council allowing this facility to house prisoners.

The group claims Gusman is illegally operating the Temporary Detention Center, a relic from the post Katrina era to replace storm-damaged and destroyed buildings. 221 prisoners were logged into the Center as of last week. Adina Marx-Arpadi, a coordinator with the Prison Reform Coalition, stated,  We are not willing any longer to allow the city to break the law to incarcerate people accused of breaking the law. Nobody should die in jail, let alone in a facility that is being operated illegally.  

                                             Overcrowding at Elmore Correctional Facility in Alabama

LA State Police’s Reputation Sinks to Historic Low as Corruption Runs Rampant!

•December 5, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Other historic scandal years pale in comparison to 2017. In this year, the former longtime superintendent, Mike Edmonson, is awaiting prosecution. He is accused of erasing text messages from a Las Vegas pleasure trip which the taxpayers paid for. He is also accused utilizing state police for personal gain.

Four troopers are also accused of taking the illegal Las Vegas trip with Edmonson. These troopers were violated state travel policy.

One state trooper was paid an unbelievable $147,000 in overtime pay in 2016. In October 2017, the State Police officially prohibited a highway traffic enforcement program and began a criminal investigation into three troopers who filed pay sheets claiming false travel amounting in one case to $147,000 in overtime in last year.

A legislative audit still to be released learned that Edmonson often took a variety of  handouts during his nine year career as superintendent.  He lived rent-free, trustees served his family and ordered state troopers to drive his wife around Louisiana. Utilizing prisoners for personal gain brings in the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

According to the president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Rafael Goyeneche, he has never seen anything like this during his 35 year career in law enforcement. Says Goyeneche, This was rot – not from the core but from the top – and it was infiltrating down into the organization.

I fully expect the best is yet to come. There are federal and state investigations into the Louisiana State Troopers Association. The troopers group collects dues from its members and acts as a benevolent group to help troopers in need.

One of the worst of this litany of public wrongdoing is the agency’s own report that Edmonson deleted text messages from a trooper’s phone which bootstrapped an internal investigation he had ordered into the detour troopers took to Las Vegas on the way to a California law enforcement conference.

Col. Kevin Reeves, Edmonson’s quiet successor and the rest of the State Police brass are struggling to contain a serious crisis in public confidence due to the public’s perception the State Police are abusing their power and are arrogant as well. This indicates a fall from the public’s grace, not a good place for the State Police to be in. Who is responsible for policing the police?

It appears things are changing for the better, in this problem area. Previously, trooper discipline was the responsibility of the State Police Superintendent; now, Reeves has instituted a round table methodology where Reeves and his senior command staff consider these cases jointly.  This move effectively takes the Superintendent  off the hot seat here.

Reeves has said, I don’t have all the right answers and I can’t sit here and tell you that I know, in every disciplinary case, what the right thing to do is. It also ensures that I cannot, in good faith, give one person discipline one way and have another employee who does virtually the same thing receive a harsher or lesser discipline. 

Reeves is a forward thinking leader. His administration is pursuing the purchase of an $11 million computer system which would allow the agency to track the location of troopers in real time.

According to Reeves, a computer-aided dispatch system would not only enhance officer safety and allow for more efficient dispatching. It will also hold us accountable, he said, It would truly be a plus, and I would say it’s a necessity for our agency.

 

Klonopin Psychotic Break Leads to 8 day Mental Hospital Stay!

•December 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I’ve always been a good sleeper. However, I had been sleeping very poorly since my wife died  after 38 years together. You sleep next to the same person for decades and you get extremely used to it. Eventually I sought out, based on my girlfriend Sue’s recommendation,  an uptown psychiatrist named Dr M, a very nice man. He prescribed a sleeping medicine- Klonopin

(Clonazepam). Among the prominent side effects- thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

 

After a few days on Klonopin, I was sleeping better, but my waking behavior was changing for the worst. One thing you learn from good parents and a long happy relationship is how to treat the opposite sex.  I always look for a substantial woman, and I don’t mean physically. Eventually, it’s a person’s psyche that holds your attention, that intrigues you, it’s her mind that I fall in love with.

 

Clonazepam has a long elimination half-life. Elimination half-life refers to how long it takes for half of a single dose of a drug to leave the body. For clonazepam, its elimination half-life ranges from 30 to 40 hours. This means that it will take between one to two days for just 50% of Klonopin to leave your system

 

Psychosis – The unpredictability of Klonopin abuse can cause several psychological problems, such as psychosis or depression. People may experience vivid hallucinations, become increasingly aggressive towards others, attempt suicide and even develop homicidal intentions. The brain sends and receives various signals throughout the body that control thoughts, actions and emotions: when the brain gets a dose of Klonopin, it starts sending abnormal signals that make people think, do and feel abnormal things.

All of a sudden, I had problems with my temper, and my usual rational thinking was deserting me. I love life like the next person, but under the influence of Klonopin, I began to thinking very negative thoughts. I wanted to commit suicide, and I needed a rationale to do so. From this point forward, except for me cutting my wrists, I don’t recall any part of what’s coming. I was driven to do this.  I got this all from girlfriend Sue. Three days of my life are a complete blank, except for 15 minutes. Again, this drug is very dangerous.

 

So I lost my temper, and for the first time in my life, punched and choked a loved one- my girlfriend of three years. After I knocked her down, I had all the justification needed to cut my wrists. So I left the girlfriend on the floor and went to kitchen and got a big sharp knife and cut my wrists. I’m right handed which led to deeper cuts on my left wrist. I was bleeding out and Sue called for an ambulance. Sue reports that there was plenty of blood all over the house.

 

I have virtually no memory of my 3 days as a monster. All I can recall is slitting my wrists, and I recall feeling very happy while cutting.  Via Klonopin I have blocked out 3 whole days of my life, except for the absolute low point of those days, cutting my wrists and almost dying. Sue has filled me into my actions over those days, and it wasn’t me, it was the pill. I love myself and would never hurt myself. I love Sue and I would never choke or punch her. Frankly, it’s frightening that your personality can be changed so drastically via a little pill that’s supposed to relax you.

 

I ended up at a local hospital where they stitched me up- 15 stitches, 10 in my left wrist.  Then I was taken to an uptown mental hospital (Community Care) for 8 days. This hospital was a short term facility. There were 5 floors of patients, The 3rd floor is where I went. The hospital averages 10-13 inmates per floor. Everyone over the age of 45 was on my floor. I was the only inmate with my circumstances-  bad reaction to a pill with slit wrists. Two persons were giving up heroin without any methadone- not easy.  Another 9 or 10 were mentally ill. Some were more ill than others. Some were released to a group home, not real freedom. Some were hardly sick at all.

 

Community Care  is a pill palace. Pills are distributed 4 times daily, 7 days a week. You go to the nurse’s station with a cup of water and get a half dozen pills. Mood stabilizers, tranquilizers, antibiotics if needed, sleep aids, vitamins, etc.  When checking out, I was prescribed Seroquel 60 mg twice daily and Buspirone 3X daily. For sleep I given 600 mg of Seroquel which works very well. Unfortunately, Seroquel is a very expensive drug  -$700-1,000 per month- , so I’m working with the Salvation Army and the United Way for some help. I’ve got at least a month’s supply of the Seroquel on hand, so I’m good for now.  I was also prescribed Depakote, which is also extremely expensive so I never got that one filled.  Where I will get a month’s supply in 45 days when I’ll need it is still unknown.

 

The truth is, I don’t feel any of these pills except the 600 mg of Seroquel I take at bedtime. I don’t feel good about taking so heavy a dose. If the house was on fire, during that first hour, I don’t feel confident that I could manage to get myself out of the house without falling. When I am in bed, after taking the Seroquel, it’s a bit uncomfortable. That feeling lessons during the second hour and for the rest of the night.

 

Most people take sleeping for granted until they have a sleep problem. Recently I have been sleeping 6-7 hours nightly which is excellent for me even though at the moment I am living with a friend and sleeping on his nice fold out couch.

 

There is very little active therapy in Community Care hospital. Each weekday afternoon,

I would see one of three shrinks for 5 or 6 minutes, at most 10 minutes. Once each week day, a thirty minute group was held. Topics ranged from 30 things to stop doing to yourself to general information about grief. The hospital had an activity therapist who brought her guitar and she would play music games like guess the song/tic tac toe. Her name was Meredith and she was a welcome distraction a couple of times weekly. She had a great smile, and smiles are in short supply on mental wards.

 

Cigarette breaks 4 times daily were a highlight of the day since we got to go outside for 10 minutes at a time. I don’t smoke so paced around the space back and forth 20 times. It was my only chance to get any outside exercise. Roughly 80 percent of all inmates smoke cigarettes. When leaving, my son dropped off two cases of cigarettes for the third floor. A day after I was released, I dropped off another few packs for another inmate.  I also dropped off $5 that I borrowed from an inmate during my stay. Cigarettes are big business in the mental hospital business. When you are in a confined mental hospital, you are at the approximate lowest point in a person’s existence. An extra snack or cigarettes can provide a high point in the inmates’ day. Packs are cheap when the inhouse cigarette machine is available.

 

Vending machines favored the inmates financially. A 12 can of Coke or Dr. Pepper was 50 cents, and a bag of Fritos or Doritos was 50 cents, but the machines were particular. One machine only took dollar bills and the other took only quarters. You had to have dollar bills and quarters if you wanted a cold drink and a bag of chips.

 

Inmates have trouble accessing their own money. For example, I had around $30 cash in my wallet, which was in a ziplock bag locked away in the nurses station on floor 3. During my 8 days, I could access only $15 of my money, and when I left, there was still a $5 and $10 bill in my wallet.  Why I got only half of my available cash over my 8 days locked up, I don’t know. $15 isn’t much money on the outside but on the inside it’s quite a bit of money. It’s true the prices of the cold drinks and Fritos are wonderful antiquated prices.

 

Visiting hours were a total of 2 hours daily, broken up into 2 sessions. It’s not much but if someone came to the hospital during non visiting hours, more often than not they got to come up and have a visit.  My son Joshua was my most steadfast visitor, coming 5 of the 8 days I was there. My step daughter Sharon drove Josh to the hospital a couple of times but never came up. My ex-girlfriend Sue came once.

 

I read everything available. That’s how I spent my enormous amount free time. I remember one great book. It was about Seabiscuit, a legendary racing horse from the 1930s. My family brought me newspapers, which I devoured.  I was a sprinter in high school and college and I won more than my share of races. I sort of identified with Seabiscuit.

 

From drugs.com–   Klonopin section

 

General

The most commonly reported side effects were drowsiness, ataxia, and behavioral problems.[Ref]

Psychiatric

Common (1% to 10%): Depression, emotional lability, confusion

Frequency not reported: Hallucinations, hysteria, insomnia, psychosis, excitability, irritability, aggressive behavior, agitation, hostility, anxiety, vivid dreams, hyperactivity, hypoesthesia, organic disinhibition, depersonalization, apathy, excitement, feeling mad, illusion, nightmares, sleep disorders, suicide ideation[Ref

 

The reason I’ve highlighted suicide is because it’s apparently a far more common side effect than I  thought it was. From 1 to 10 percent of users have suicidal tendencies? That is the worst side effect I have ever heard of. How can a drug be approved if approximately 3-5% of the population that takes Klonopin on average try to kill themselves?  

 

I landed in a mental hospital after beating up my beloved girlfriend and as a rule, when you enter the hospital, some event precipitated your arrival. That arrival generally ensures a rough landing into the hospital, where you are locked up tight.

 

You need an address to go when released. The hospital has to call the address and make sure someone answers. I landed a block from the Mississippi River, with a guy I’ve known for 20 years, and stayed with once before after my beloved wife passed. The house has its share of old building defects, such as the toilet and tub have partially sunk to the  floor below.  Therefore, sitting in the tub (there is no shower)  is a risky proposition, as is sitting on the toilet. These relatively stressless activities are now stress laden.

 

I purchased a mattress topper, as the mattress I sleep on is only 5 inches thick. The mattress topper came yesterday, and it improved my sleeping arrangements markedly.  

 

The 2nd floor apartment is 4 blocks from one of the most celebrated live music venues

In New Orleans. The  Maple Leaf  Bar is one of the top 3 clubs in New Orleans, along with Tipitina’s and Snug Harbor, in my opinion.  We live 3 blocks from Oak Street, as iconic a neighborhood shopping street as any in New Orleans.

 

About Community Care Hospital, I conducted an informal survey while locked down. Over the 8 days, I asked just about all the inmates about their education. Turns out I was the only college graduate which made me the only Ivy League graduate as well. There were about 40 or so inmates present in the facility while I was there, and approximately 10 or 12 at a time on the 3rd floor. Since it was a short term facility, there was no real education component.

 

                      Tipitina’s

I’ve been lucky in life. I had a good upbringing, with three big sisters and two excellent parents. My mom and dad loved each other to the end, and I learned from them. They both were in the Navy during WWII, in San Diego, which was a Navy town back then and still is. My dad was drafted but my mother enlisted.

 

I attended excellent public schools. I  grew up in Queens on Park Lane South until I was 8, then Searingtown, Long Island. Exit 36 of the Long Island Expressway.  

 

I graduated from an Ivy League College. I was lucky in love at Cornell.  Marcy, somewhat a wild child, became my girlfriend the first week. Smart, funny, great looking with an eighteen year old’s body. There was an immediate attraction. Our dorm was sponsoring a coed social and they played the classic Stones catalog. We both loved that music and started dancing. The first night we headed in her 67 yellow Mustang to the Cornell Apple Orchards- they were deserted completely. This was my crazy idea, At that time I was in the Agriculture School, and their marketing to me in Long Island included some photos of the orchards. The sex was a bit awkward to say the least but extremely memorable.

 

We started living sleeping together in a twin bed. We each had a roommate. We didn’t care what the roommate thought. We were young and stupid and in love.  We had to cuddle like mad to sleep to make it work, but we both slept like rocks after living the life of super busy Ivy League students. I ran track winter and spring and was in the college band playing sax and clarinet. Time flew by, and my third year was half over.

 

While at Cornell the first time I was researching my trip to New Orleans and I found a phone number for a community crash pad and kitchen, in the French Quarter of New Orleans. When I got off the airplane in New Orleans, I knew no one, and had $300. It was 1975. I called the single number I had and reached Suzy Steelman.

 

Suzy gave me Mike Stark’s number. She said he had  rooms available in the Faubourg Marigny. I didn’t want to shlep off, so I waited 15 minutes and I called Suzie back and told her I had spoken Mike who said they were full up. I didn’t know where Mike’s place was. It was fate that I would spend my first night in the Esplanade and Rampart Street apartment.

 

On the next call, Suzie told me about some rooms for rent at Esplanade and Rampart Streets, above Mistretta’s Auto sales. I felt that was closer,  it was Meg’s friend’s apartment. Some roommates had moved out suddenly, and a couple of rooms became available. I accepted her offer and moved in the apartment. Meg was living with her daughter Sharon in a S. Derbigny apartment. A few weeks later, Meg’s apartment was ransacked, and the house became unlivable, so she moved into the apartment where I was.  

 

My wife to be, Meg Pomeroy, RN, was working with Suzy volunteering at the community medical services. New Orleans mayor Moon Landrieu (father to Mitch Landrieu, current New Orleans 2 term mayor) pushed through a budget which paid for one doctor twice a week during clinic hours.

 

I met her that first night in New Orleans and was in touch with her during my first month. That first day,  had a hammock in my room and we lay together and cuddled and made out. The hour got very late and I stated it was time to fish or cut bait. She choose to fish.  After that we were living together, and I was lucky to get 38 wonderful years with her. For her last 25 years she worked at Children’s Hospital New Orleans,

 

I stayed three years with Meg and her daughter Sharon who was eight when I moved in-  If I stayed any longer, my Regent’s scholarship in New York would lapse. I couldn’t do that to my parents or myself, so I returned to Cornell to finish my degree. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of  Arts and Science and moved back to New Orleans and my steady squeeze Meg Pomeroy.

 

Meg was of Scottish descent, her maiden name was Anderson. The Andersons  are an old clan of Scotland. We were together for 38 years until she was betrayed by her body and died at 72 in Touro Infirmary in 2012. Her heart exploded. Death was extremely quick. I still love her, after several decades it’s hard to stop.

 

Meg was an extraordinary woman. I was lucky in love, that was for sure. She died a sad death in Touro Infirmary but that was out of her control.  It’s been 5 long years since her death, I realize more and more how rare and special she was. I still miss her daily. After 38 years, it is hard not to.

Three years after Meg passed away, I found found myself on a senior dating site.  I met Sue, and we hit it off. We were together for close to three years when Klonopin messed with our lives.  

 

As for my ex girlfriend, Sue,  I am seeing her on weekends. I’m going with her to see her family for Xmas.  Her sister Chris and her husband live in a tiny town in Mississippi where cell phones have no bars at all. Sue’s mother lives with them. We are going for Christmas in a couple of days. Satellite TV and landlines rule this extremely rural small town.

 

Merry Christmas to all!

 

After 3 years of cohabitation we are starting the relationship all over again. We are dating. It’s fun, but frustrating. Three years of love and happiness down the tubes, but there is a fast track back. Sue wants to speak to my shrink, the doctor who prescribed me Klonopin and if he certifies me as normal again, which I certainly am, as I’m getting enough sleep and Seroquel has no adverse side effects for me.  

 

Spent last night at Sue’s, it was divine spending 2 days with her. I went to her family Christmas party outside of Jackson, MS, yesterday in a very rural area where cell phones get no reception at all. Sue’s mom is still alive, which is wonderful for me, as my folks died in the 1990s. Seeing Sue this Friday for a movie date. I think the world of her big family and they like me just as much.

 

                                      Anderson Clan

 

My first job in New Orleans was working at Audubon Zoo in the Hoofstock area.  Giraffes, rhinos, hippos, antelope, deer, etc. This was a hard job physically but it was very memorable. Met a landscaper at the zoo named Mike Dianda, and we are still friends today. We zookeepers would enter the animal pens to pet the creatures and hang out. We especially like the two rhinos, Willy and Jesse. They were from South Africa and we had to quarantine their poop. No joke.

 

I left the zoo to finish up my Cornell degree. It was a sad but adventurous time. I was in love with my girlfriend Meg and her daughter Sharon, so I knew I would be returning to them when I finished my degree. After Cornell I came back to New Orleans and Meg and Sharon. It turns out the physics lab at Cornell burned down my last semester, and I got an incomplete in physics. I took my last three credits at Loyola University on St Charles Avenue during summer 1985. I was 23 years old and already was hooked on New Orleans’ charms.

 

I started writing resumes for one of the biggest nationwide companies. This was the early 1980s. The Louisiana oil patch was in the throes of a big economic downturn, so many laid off oilfield workers needed updated and better looking resumes. This gave my resume business a big kick forward. These were relatively fancy resumes which customers would pay $200 or more for. The resumes were successful, and word of mouth referrals helped business considerably. My step daughter Sharon Pomeroy was my secretary for much of my resume writing career.

 

I eventually moved in the music business and made a lasting impact by bringing to New Orleans a music publisher from California who loved New Orleans roots music as much as I did. He paid big bucks for three iconic New Orleans musicians- Professor Longhair, James Booker and Earl King. That fixed the legacies of  2 of those artists, who died poor.

 

I’ve toured New Orleans brass bands and blues men to the biggest music festivals in Europe and Scandinavia- North Sea, Montrose, Pori and Umbria. These four are on a par with our own New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Artists include James Andrews and Trombone Shorty, Irma Thomas, Algiers and Treme Brass Bands, and many other bonafide New Orleans music talent.

 

To meet the right world buyers of Louisiana talent, I devised a trade show marketing program to market myself, my roster, New Orleans and Louisiana. We often sponsored a booth while attending 2 big music American trade shows and 2 in Europe. The 4- New Music Seminar, New York City; South by Southwest, Austin, Texas; Berlin Independence Days; and MIDEM in Canne, France.

 

I threw invitation only parties for Louisiana buyers. I brought Crawfish Etouffee and Seafood Gumbo prepared in New Orleans and frozen in convenient heavy 3.5 pound foil pans, I purchased and made the rice at the show and also brought and served the rum at the show, after mixing it with Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Mix  which I purchased in New Orleans. I decorated the party with purple, green and gold Mardi Gras decorations. Our parties were well attended by the top cream of the show.  Real seafood entrees served in sample sized bowls, along with real Pat O’Brien Hurricanes, with Mardi Gras decor.

 

Often we would talk to a busking New Orleans groups about performing at these trade shows, highlights included  in Europe, David and Roselyn and once even Cowboy Mouth appeared live in Cannes, France. Cowboy Mouth played an acoustic set daily at the booth, and David and Roselyn played the nighttime party.

 

At the trade show booth, I would give away lots of Mardi Gras beads, and hot stamped cups embossed with trade show date and logo. I would carry the beads in a large wicker basket which I would turn on it’s side for the trade show giveaway. I hung a sign on the basket stating Free Beads. We carried a lot of record samples in those days, and later CDs. We ran our own video marketing program, with recorded shows of the Nevilles, Fats, and the Radiators playing non stop during show hours.  

 

A month before the convention, we busily faxed out invitations to our party and a  business meeting on the trade show floor. I would target Louisiana music buyers around the globe. It worked, we did a lot of business with Louisiana buyers.

 

I had a client who represented 90 ninety second vignettes all about wine. It was hosted by a local chevallier.  We produced a boxed set, containing a booklet with 2 videos. We attended a TV merchandising convention in Chicago, and as a result of this trade mission, we cut a deal with TV juggernaut QVC. On Valentines’ Day, we debuted on QVC. We sold out in 10 minutes the thousand units QVC ordered. They reordered immediately. I recall being amazed at the high production values on the 3 minute segment they produced to sell the boxed set. My partner was the late Eddie Kurtz.

 

I purchased a mattress topper, as the mattress I sleep on is only 5 inches thick. The mattress topper came yesterday, and it improved my sleeping arrangements markedly.