“With her frolicking romp through the inner sancta sanctora of some of New Orleans’s most recognizable characters, Ms. Olivo joins the august ranks of Visionary Imagists, spreading her distaff jism everywhere like so much fairy sparkle, bringing even the dead to life.” George Febres (1943-1996)
“Even if far too long in coming, moving my statue from the front of D.H. Holmes to the appropriately renamed Boethius Square, across from the Cathedral, is a fitting testament to my true genius. Andrew Jackson? Who in their right mind wants to look up a horse’s patoot, anyway?”
Ignatius J. Reilly (Immortal)
“My only regret is that I didn’t get to write this book before I passed. I am thinking of writing a rip-off, however.”
Walker Percy (1916-1990)
“I love New Orleans: Half the city is under water, half is under indictment, and the third half is composed of Yats. This book makes a case for a new census classification.”
Molly Ivins (1944-2007)
“When I died, Dublin was written in my heart; then, when I walked the streets of New Orleans and listened to the natives tell their stories, which they were quite eager to share, whether in pubs, street corners, queues, church vestibules, or caprice of meeting, the city was etched in my soul. Moreover, this is
a book I would have written if I had been born a Yat.”
James Joyce (1882-1941)
“I had a tendency to gild the magnolia, put a cherry in the Sazerac,[i] fill the King Cake[ii] with
apples and cream cheese (quelle horreur!), as it were, when I penned Fabulous New Orleans in the 1920s. But within these pages, no such embellishment is necessary. Ms. Olivo has a documentarian’s eye and ear, distilling the countless stories into a cinéma vérité of the culture.”
Lyle Saxon (1891-1946)
“Tee hee. I haven’t laughed so hard since my great-Tante Phene got her falsies cawht[iii] inna wringer washer. Now, le’me axe you, you gotta cigarette I can borrow?”
Grace Moulon, aka Ruthie the Duck Girl[iv] (1934-2008)
[i] The quintessential New Orleans cocktail. Search Terms: The Sazerac Cocktail – Gumbo Pages.
[ii] King Cake, Gateau du Roi, the Holy Eucharist of Carnival, is made of slightly sweetened brioche dough braided and formed into a circle or oval and then baked. Traditionally, it is topped with swaths of sugar dyed garish shades of yellow, purple and green (the colors of Carnival). A small plastic (formerly porcelain) baby is hidden inside, and custom has it that the person who gets the baby has to host the next King Cake party. Its origins are French, and the name refers to the Wise Men, or three Kings, and their offering to the Christ Child on the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th, or Twelfth Night. Note: it is a city ordinance that King Cake cannot be eaten between Ash Wednesday and January 5th of the following year. Haydel’s Bakery is but one of several establishments famous for its King Cakes. Search Terms: Home | Haydel’s Bakery New Orleans LA. Over time, fillings have been added: plain sweetened cream cheese, stewed apple, pecan praline, strawberry cream cheese, to name a few. Recently an upstart company, Larry Ragusa’s King Cakes® (formerly known as Ragusa Brothers King Cakes®), has taken to adding Wop salad, salami and chopped weenies in red gravy to it’s traditional blueberry cream filling, among other highly refined Yat delicacies. Search Terms for this hilarious take on a Yat tradition: Larry Ragusa’s King Cakes – Commercial 3 – YouTube.
[iii] Caught in Yat.
[iv] Ruthie was a beloved denizen of the French Quarter, and she serves as queen of our parade. Search Terms:
1. Ruthie the Duck Girl Eccentric New Orleans;
2. LJ Goldstein Mardi Gras Unmasked;
3. Mourners bid farewell to French Quarter’s Duck Girl NOLA