This past Sunday marked the 30th anniversary of the Valley Of Silent Men Social Aid And Pleasure Club.
We were rightly excited to be able to document the affair.
This particular second line got started a little later than is normal with a 3pm kickoff at Tapps II Bar in Central City.
Taps I was located on Lee Circle before Katrina came along and ruined it.
As is custom there was a multitude of roving cocktail bars, beer wagons and ad hoc food trucks at the starting line.
Many would go on to accompany the procession but a handful elected to lay back and take care of the folks who only went down part of the route before returning to the jump off point.
We ate like kings off Chef Punch’s New Orleans Cajun Cooking food truck for our 500 Po Boys series.
And danced, and took a few hundred photos, and celebrated the beauty of Janice Riley, this years queen.
Leon Anderson Sr. along with Henry Gettridge and John West, founded the Valley of Silent Men 30 years ago. Sadly, Mr Anderson and John West are no longer with us.
We bet the funerals of these two men were wild affairs filled with celebration.
After a mile or so following the Valley Of Silent Men we began to decamp back to the starting line. We’d been eyeballing the assortment of foods offered at Fox Bar and Tapps II and were eager to get back to the vendors and see about getting some victuals.
Both Luke’s Family Catering (char-grilled oysters) and Chef Punch (Hot Sausage Po Boy) were putting out premium grade second line chow.
There’s something about sitting in the gutter in Central City with an ice cold Heineken and a styrofoam clam-shell stuffed with gulf oysters that we find really satisfying.
After an extensive feast, we rose up and began slowly walking back to the old Econoline.
This was our first Valley of Silent Men Social Aid & Pleasure Club second line but it will assuredly not be our last.
All the folks involved in the affair were super friendly, we ate like kings, danced like fools and had the time of our lives.
Late August marks the beginning of second line season in New Orleans. We’re looking at about 40 events between now and Father’s Day 2016.
Which second line are you looking most forward to?