The 2015 Young Men Olympian Junior Benevolent Association Second Line stands in our top two parades of the year.
The other being the 2015 Pigeon Town Steppers Annual Easter Sunday Second Line that featured the hottest buck jumping to ever take place in New Orleans.
Til this past Sunday when the Young Olympians redefined the genre.
And they did it out of the blue.
One minute the men were sombre and barely moving to a funereal dirge when all of a sudden the brass went apoplectic and the men responded in kind.
It was intense.
The Young Men Olympian Junior Benevolent Association got started back in 1884 and have paraded every year since. They are the oldest second lining social aid and pleasure club in New Orleans.
The group is massive as they begin to march away from Bean Brother’s Corner (now Uptown Bar) on Danneel Street in Central City.
The Order Of The Fez is a mighty one as all the men are wearing them and looking incredibly natty in matching suits.
A smaller group of really young members of the troupe dance along; I suspect they are the sons, nephews and grandsons of the adult members of the club.
They too are resplendent in their outfits.
The crowd following along behind the Second Line is one of the largest I’ve seen out this year.
When you have a century-plus old tradition your roots goes deep as blood.
We talk about all the changes that have come to Central City since 1884 and wonder what the neighborhood will look like in ten years when the developmental sprawl that’s swallowed OC Haley ranges further outward.
We love this quote (in the Gambit) from Joseph Allen, the club’s secretary ““Since we purchased the building, the crime has gone down within two blocks of our clubhouse. Just having a positive presence makes a difference. There’s no drug selling around here, they don’t hang out on the corners. They see clean-cut guys going in there making the area safe. We cut the grass on the vacant lots around our building and keep corners clean”
The much-storied violence of Central City was blessedly absent from this Second Line. The theme of this year’s march was “Parading For Peace in 2015” and indeed this was a peaceful, lovely way to spend an afternoon in New Orleans.
This Second Line was dedicated to the memory of Brothers Stephen “Mr Steve” Solomon, Alfred “Bucket” Carter, Herbert “Wizard” Gettridge and Richard “Ricky” Randal