Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||I Love a Parade....
I Love a Parade
love a parade! Who doesn’t? There are homecoming parades, Thanksgiving
parades, parades for the Fourth of July. But the parade I participating in
recently was a jazz band parade in New Orleans.
New Orleans is known as the “birthplace of jazz” and jazz has become a
traditional music suitable for almost every occasion there. There are jazz bands
at weddings, conventions, parties, celebrations of all kinds -- even funeral
The Storyville Stompers is a brass band that plays traditional New Orleans
music, the kind that jazz and Dixieland are based on. They are known for their
performances at Mardi Gras, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, The
French Quarter Festival and numerous other national and international
When they are around, everything else stops.
The band parades on foot through the streets of the city with a drum major
leading as only a New Orleans drum major can, with a lively step and the waving
parasol that that has become a legendry part of the New Orleans tradition.
When bands paraded in early times, children often followed behind, imitating the
high-stepping, umbrella-twirling drum major. Soon a second line of paraders
formed, a line following after the band and a tradition known as “second
lining” was born.
Attendees at the recent National Society of Newspaper Columnists conference in
New Orleans had to walk several blocks from the hotel to a meeting at the
Aquarium. Why walk when you can dance? And so the conference planners hired a
traditional jazz band and before we knew it, we were high stepping and second
lining as if we had been doing it for a lifetime.
It is hard to stand still when the Stompers play. No one can avoid dancing
along. When a band plays jazz New Orleans style, the only thing that matters is
having a good time.
We came prepared. We brought kazoos to play and umbrellas to twirl. Here we
were, a group of writers, nerds, and old folks, dancing through the streets of a
city like a bunch of giddy kids.
Traffic stopped for us, tourists stopped for us, cameras flashed, and we boogied
on. In New Orleans , they have grown accustomed to street performances and only
smile, wave and applaud, wishing they could join in or maybe even dancing right
I twirled my umbrella and danced just like everyone else. After all, what good
is life if you can’t have fun? We marched into the aquarium, past the fish and
aquatic animals and into the room where our event was being held.
I don’t know if the creatures were accustomed to such festivities or not, but
they seemed not to mind. It was hard to play my kazoo and twirl my umbrella at
the same time. Maybe I’m one of those people who can’t walk and chew gum
without forgetting to do one of them.
We all made it in spite of traffic, rough sidewalks, gawking tourists, flashing
cameras, heat and humidity, and hysterical laughter. Now, if anyone should ever
ask, I can say that I’ve been second lining in New Orleans .
I really doubt that it will ever come up, though. It never has before.
Life is short and the world is a small place. Someday I can say, “And then
there was the time in New Orleans when I went second lining with the Storyville
Stompers Brass Band.”
I’m sure when I tell about it, the grandkids will simply say “We’ve heard
that story before, grandma. Tell us another one.”
Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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